Chery, cheap Chinese cars, now arriving
24th October, 2011
3rd August, 2011
24th February, 2011
China's Chery Automotive will release two models onto
the Australian vehicle market next week with its J1 hatchback and J11 SUV now arriving locally.
The Chery J1 is a 1.3 litre manual five door hatchback with a price of $11,990 drive away. Features
include power steering, air-conditioning, alloy wheels, power windows, MP3 compatible six speaker
stereo, power mirrors and remote keyless entry. Safety features include just two front occupant
airbags, ABS, EBD and front seatbelt pre-tensioners. There are no front or rear side airbags, no front
or rear 'curtain' airbags and no knee airbags upfront.
The J11 is a 2.0 litre compact 2WD SUV available with either manual or automatic transmission. Its
features include leather trimmed seats, air conditioning, power windows, MP3 compatible four speaker
stereo, power mirrors, 16” alloy wheels and remote keyless entry.
The J11’s 2.0 litre engine has 102 kW of power and 182 Nm of torque, while safety features
include ABS, EBD, front seatbelt pre-tensioners and, sadly, just two front airbags.
The lack of six airbags reinforces the long held popular view that Chinese vehicle manufacturers
just don't get it when it comes to occupant safety.
The price for the Chery J11 is $19,990 drive away. The automatic transmission, cruise control and
steering wheel mounted audio controls is a $2,000 option.
J1s and J11s will be on sale from 45 Chery dealers around Australia from 1st March 2011.
Chery is China’s largest and most diverse independent Chinese vehicle manufacturer. It has five
car assembly lines, two engine plants and one transmission plant that combined to produce over
680,000 cars in 2010.
Chery has been the biggest seller among the local Chinese car brands for nine consecutive years.
Over the last three years, Chery has ranked among the top 10 of all China based car companies and
has been the biggest selling brand behind Volkswagen, General Motors, Toyota and Hyundai.
Chinese car manufacturers have been engaged in a staggering rate of expansion in recent years.
Vehicle sales in China soared by 32% to 18.06 million units in 2010 according to data released by
the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. That is more than the number of new vehicles
sold in the US and Japan combined.
Chery is based near the city of Wuhu in Anhui province in eastern China.
In Australia, Chery is likely to be viewed as cheap and nasty.
Next Car is keen to see the Chinese brands take a serious view of occupant safety.
According to Stephen Walker, Next Car's Editor, the importer is unlikely to permit Next
Car to drive their cars as it seems apparent the importer is selecting particular journalists
only to drive the Chery in what appears to be a stage-managed attempt to influence what may be
written about the cars in view of numerous unfavourable reviews in Europe about Chinese cars. Next
Car accepts the importer's viewpoint as this is the best way to deal with products that, indeed,
may be as bad as past European reviews have indicated.
So one question remains unanswered. Who is game enough to put their hand up and say "I want to
own a Chery".