AUTO INDUSTRY NEWS

Chery comes to Philippine shores

Chery comes to Philippine shores image

Text: Gratton Dy / Photos: | posted August 13, 2007 00:00

I'll take a Chery home

A new automobile brand which sounds more of like an apparel or a perfume brand for the ladies is rearing to go head-to-head versus the well-established giants, and it appears to be unfazed because of its relatively-unique market position.

Chery, a brand well-known in other parts of the globe but relatively obscure until its initial offering here in the Philippines, made a big statement in its recent grand launching last month at the Palacio de Manila, through the daring efforts of Iseway Motors, the exclusive distributor of Chery in the Philippines.

The aforementioned unique market position which is boldly proclaimed on each of its marketing collateral is that efficiency need not be expensive. True enough, Chery's lowest-end automobile (at 800cc manual transmission) offered in its initial Philippine market offering costs as low as P 339,000 only, nearly half the price of the automobiles of the same level and functionality being offered by the famed Japanese manufacturers.

Its origin of manufacture is the most logical explanation why Chery's cars costs this affordable China, the powerhouse country of manufacturing companies.

Considering that the Philippines is dominantly known as a cost-conscious market, Chery is definitely expected to carve its own niche, and will have a lot of employed yuppies on a financing budget think twice, or even thrice at that, of buying a second-hand car, even if it's a Honda or a Toyota.

As the oft-said statement goes, nothing will be comparable than driving a brand new car fresh out of the "casa". The entry of Chery has finally given more Filipinos this thrilling opportunity.

Not too many people may know that Chery is already in the automotive business in China since 1997, and recently, has taken giant strides to become a global brand by entering the North American market through dealerships this year. Currently, Chery is being distributed in 29 nations the latest being the Philippines.

Chery is slowly but surely making its name in the Southeast Asian region. Believe it or not, in Singapore, for example, Chery has sold more units this year to date as compared to more-renowned manufacturers like Ford, Volkswagen and even Chrysler.

Among six Chery cars available in China right now, five are also being offered in the local market. Its entry level is the hatchback-type QQ which retails for P 339,000 for the 800cc manual and P 389,000 for the automatic transmission. Cowin, Chery's entry to the 1.6-liter compact sedan class, which sells at an amazingly low P 479,000. Cowin even has a version with the power sunroof. Its higher-class sedan is the A5, also at 1.6-liter, is tagged at P 589,000. Its SUV version, a 1.6-liter one, is curiously named Tiggo (sounds like a cartoon character though) which is at P 728,000. Chery's cream-of-the-crop is the V5 minivan, which is still priced far from the seven-digit mark at P 858,000.

The most remarkable feature of Chery's cars, to this author, is its exquisite interior trimming. Each car is certainly not waning in quality and class. Take a seat inside and you'd find muttering to yourself, "This car is not bad after all."

Well, since now I've now aroused your curiosity about Chery, I'll end by saying she's hot and the best thing, readily available now. Visit her at the showroom at 349 General Gil Puyat Avenue in Makati City. At a very inexpensive "showroom-find rate", she's pleading you to drive her home anyday, anytime. Just don't forget to prepare your check.