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May 29, 2008

PHILIPPINES: Affordable Chinese cars appeal

A dealer in Chinese-manufactured cars has said their designs and prices are acceptable to Philippines buyers in all income brackets because of their affordability and practicality.

A dealer in Chinese-manufactured cars has said their designs and prices are acceptable to Philippines buyers in all income brackets because of their affordability and practicality.

But Chery distributor Iseway Motors said there was still a lack of awareness about the vehicles, prompting them to appoint dealerships after the company became the official distributor of Chery cars in the Philippines early this year, the Thai News Service reported.

At present, Iseway has 13 dealerships in key areas in the country, including one in Mandaue City. It plans to establish 30 more in the next few years, six of which are targeted to open before August this year.

Chery manufactures sedans and sports utility vehicles at prices ranging from P360,000 ($US8,300) to P850,000 ($19,500).

It has introduced at least five types of cars in the country, including its flagship mini compact sedan called QQ, which is known for its fuel efficiency with average petrol consumption of 21km per litre.

With such mileage, the QQ is the most popular [Chery] model in the Philippines with 1,000 units sold already. Last month, Iseway supplied Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines with 300 red QQ cars. Iseway is targeting sales of 3,000 QQ this year. It is focusing on people who might want to buy used cars.

Iseway marketing manager Walter Inguito admitted, though, that the company would have to correct the notion among Filipinos that Chinese products are cheap but not durable. He said last week that the quality of Chinese cars is at par with those of other countries.

China’s edge, he said, is its ability to produce many because it is enjoying the availability of so much resources, as well as the support of its government.

Chery cars are assembled in China by Chery Automobile using European standards, claimed Iseway dealership network manager Peter Yupangco.

Chery Automobile was founded in 1997 and entered the Philippines a year ago.

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