K-EV concept

K-EV concept

Last year was a trying one for Qoros with only 64,200 cars delivered to buyers in China, the brand's largest market. The first quarter has been far, far worse, with wholesale deliveries amounting to a mere 824 vehicles. There has been a cash infusion from the new owner but clearly, new models are an urgent requirement.

Qoros, founded in 2007, had been a 50-50 partnership between Singapore-based investment company Kenon Holdings and state-owned Chinese automaker Chery Automobile Company. Baoneng Investment Group (BIG) bought 51% of the brand in December 2017. The remaining 49% of the company is held by Chery Automobile (25%) and Kenon (24%).

BIG's founder Yao Zhenhua, one of China's wealthiest citizens, wants to reinvent Qoros as an EV specialist and erect electric car plants in Hangzhou, Kunming and Guangzhou. He also owns Jonjee Hi-Tech and Guangdong Shaoneng Group. The first of the two manufactures gears, axles and forged metal parts, while the latter is an electric motors and EV battery cells specialist.

At the moment Qoros has one plant which is in China's east. Changshu has an annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles. It is unclear what will become of this factory if Yao Zhenhua's plans for the additional sites come to fruition.

For now, the firm has the unenviable job of keeping the brand alive until new models appear. Sales fell dramatically in each month of the first quarter. Qoros at least was able to show that it still exists, having exhibited the MILE II, a concept, at the recent Auto Shanghai. This followed the MILE I, which premiered at the Beijing show a year ago.

Current and future models

Qoros once had big plans for the 3, a range of C segment vehicles. These cars are now nearing their end of their life cycles and sales have trickled almost to a stop.

The 3 Sedan had its global debut at the Geneva motor show in March 2013. Qoros issued an image of what it then called the GQ3 in December 2012. In February 2013, however, the car's name changed to Qoros 3 Sedan, with no explanation. The sedan is 4,615mm long and 1,839mm wide. The car was launched in China with normally aspirated and turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engines. Launch prices started at Yuan 120,000.

As well as the 3 Sedan, the Qoros Cross Hybrid and Estate concepts also debuted at the 2013 Geneva motor motor show. A five-door hatchback ('Qoros 3 Hatch') had its world premiere at the 2014 Geneva show with sales in China commencing three months later. The 3 City SUV, a crossover version of the 3 Hatch, was revealed at the Guangzhou motor show in November 2014. It went on sale in China a month later. The Hatch is 177mm shorter than the 3 Sedan.

The Qoros 3 sedan went on sale in China during November 2013, having had its local debut at the Guangzhou motor show earlier the same month.

The 3EV concept, a prototype of a plug-in 3 City SUV, was exhibited at the Beijing motor show in April 2016.

The 3 GT, which was a sedan with raised suspension and extended wheelarches, premiered at the Guangzhou motor show in November 2016. A plug-in variant debuted at the same event, though as a prototype. Its name was Qoros Q-Lectriq concept and the range was claimed to be 350km. A second prototype of an electric 3 GT then appeared at the Guangzhou motor show in November 2018.

As with the 3, the fate of the Qoros 4, a larger model, is unclear. This Camry-sized sedan has been in development for some years now. It could be launched during the second half of the year but that is only if the new owners have given it the green light. Given its size, the proposed 4 might instead be called Qoros 6 or 7 in production form.

A prototype of a strikingly styled 4.1m long crossover premiered at the Shanghai motor show in April 2015. The 2 SUV concept was renamed Qoros 5 in production form. It had its world premiere at November 2015's Guangzhou motor show. Production commenced during the first quarter of 2016 with the 5 going on sale in China in March 2016. The next news should be a facelift in 2020 with a successor due in 2023. The 5 is easily the brand's best seller with some 700 vehicles sold in Q1.

The Model Young could be the next vehicle to be added to the brand's range. Qoros may use a different name for this compact SUV though. The Young will use a Chery Auto platform and be around the same size as the Mazda CX-3. Its public debut was at the Chengdu motor show in August 2017. Since then though, there has been very little news about the vehicle potentially being produced.

The fate of another possible future vehicle, the Model K-EV, also has a large question mark over it. This EV with hypercar acceleration was revealed in concept form in April 2017 at Auto Shanghai. Qoros claimed that the four-motor prototype took just 2.6 seconds to reach 100km/h and that the range was "over 500km". A media release made no mention of the fact that the firm teamed up with Swedish hypercar manufacturer Koenigsegg to develop the concept.

An updated Model K-EV, this time without the glass doors of the original, appeared at the Chengdu motor show in August 2017. Its name was the same. Production was at one time due to commence during 2019 but the parent company has not spoken about the electric supercar recently.

Reports for many other manufacturers' future models are grouped in the OEM product strategy summaries section of just-auto.com.

Future product program intelligence

More detail on past, current and forthcoming models can be found in PLDB, the future vehicles database which is part of QUBE.

The next OEM to be featured in the future vehicles series will be GAC (Guangzhou Auto).

Expert analysis

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