Chery has great ambitions in the Philippines.
Compared to the time when Chery first started to arrive in the Philippine market, the models now have greatly improved, the quality has risen to world standards, and the engineering has developed to become as advanced as other global automakers. The brand has been here a few times before, but now they have the right partner in UAAGI, one that seeks to elevate the brand to its rightful place as one of China's foremost automotive companies.
There are many questions that need answering. How did Chery make such a huge leap forward in quality, design, and engineering? How are they elevating the expectations of customers with their vehicles? How is Chery offering customers the maximum value for their money?
But before we get to all that, we'll start with Chery's beginnings, and it starts in 1997.
Start-up challenger spirit
Chery was first established back in 1997, as the homegrown auto brand based in Anhui, a picturesque province in eastern China. Actually, the emblem of Chery pays homage to its home as it resembles an A for Anhui.
The company first explored automobile production with the Fengyun, a passenger car that uses licensed engineering from a very popular European automobile. Their first car sold nearly 30,000 units, and Chery was off and running.
Chery has a start-up mindset, one that sets the stage for them as an out-of-the-box thinking challenger in the fast-paced Chinese auto industry. This spirit not only allowed the company to adapt to the fast changes in the industry but make changes and enhancements to their vehicles while in production. This challenger mindset is also something found in Chery's Philippine partner: United Asia Automotive Group, Inc. or UAAGI.
UAAGI is a pioneer in marketing automobiles in the Philippine market, elevating the expectations of customers in the commercial sector. With Chery, UAAGI seeks to replicate the same success they had but with discerning Filipino customers not just by offering great value in the SRP of their vehicles, but by enhancing the ownership experience.
Every Chery will have the advantage of servicing and warranties. For three years, the regularly scheduled preventive maintenance service (PMS) of all Chery models will be free of charge. Every Chery will have a 5 year or 150,000-kilometer bumper to bumper warranty. Even the engine will have a special warranty of 10 years or 1 million kilometers, whichever comes first.
Chery also offers the EC Mobile Service program which gives customers the convenience of on-site service of their Chery vehicles in the comfort of their homes or offices.
The Chery Auto PH mobile app gives customers the convenience of scheduling test drives, service appointments, and a virtual showroom experience right at their fingertips.
UAAGI and Chery are showing us how much they believe in the build quality of their products, and are standing by their customers every step of the way for the long term.
Expanding manufacturing to world standards
As automakers continue to expand their market reach worldwide, so too must their level of quality building cars. In that, Chery is at the forefront.
Chery operates numerous research and development facilities to continuously improve their production capabilities to ensure efficiency and an ever-improving focus on overall quality. Chery is also taking the lead when it comes to high grade and advanced automation with their production. Robotics ensure that the consistency of their products are ready to meet global standards in quality, safety, and reliability wherever their vehicles are sold.
World-class is the name of the game for Chery in terms of production, and it shows in the vehicles that come out of their factories in China. Chery has exported over 1.4 million to over 80 countries worldwide. And in 2018 alone, Chery was able to export close to 130,000 vehicles, outpacing the next three automobile brands combined.
Outside of China, Chery has several factories globally that make completely-built-units (CBUs), or semi-knockdowns (SKDs). In Southeast Asia, Chery has factories in Malaysia, Myanmar, Indonesia, and Thailand. Other nations like Brazil, Egypt, Iran, and Ukraine have dedicated factories that build Chery cars for their markets, a testament to how Chery's global ambitions in the auto industry are translating to success in many other developing markets.
Moving forward with international partners
For foreign automakers to establish a factory in China, they must have a joint venture partner by law. While many of Chery's competitors have teamed up with other volume auto brands, Chery was chosen as the partner of a much more distinguished auto brand from the United Kingdom... actually, there were two brands.
In 2012 when Jaguar and Land Rover wanted to set up shop in China, they partnered up with Chery. The 50:50 joint venture saw Jaguar and Land Rover build their first-ever facility outside of the UK which opened last 2014. Models such as the Range Rover Evoque, Land Rover Discovery Sport, Jaguar XE, Jaguar E-Pace, and Jaguar XF are all made and sold at the Chery-JLR factory.
Not only that, but Chery-JLR also opened a new engine plant to produce their new range of Ingenium turbo petrol engines dedicated to the Chinese market. Chery and JLR also built a research and development facility together, enabling Chery to work on new technologies and introduce possible refinements for its current lineup.
Chery and Jaguar-Land Rover working together shows a trust in the capabilities of the Chery brand to rise to new heights, something that we're seeing a bit more of in their current line up in the Philippines.
Advanced technology, investing in the future
China is now the leading global player in the tech industry. From smartphones to laptops, consumer electronics are all built-in China and to much higher standards than before. The same applies to the auto industry, especially Chery.
Chery is heavily investing in the research and development of new technologies, particularly with safety. From facial recognition that can actively monitor a driver's attention levels to real-time eye-tracking technology that will warn know if they're starting to get distracted behind the wheel, Chery is working on making the next-generation of cars safer for all.
The company is also investing in other forms of vehicle technology. With the help of high-speed internet and wireless communications between vehicles, Chery is working on V2X or vehicle-to-everything technology aimed at reducing or preventing accidents happening on the road. This will allow the next-generation Chery vehicles to have collision warning, traffic signal recognition, as well as the ability to constantly monitor their surroundings for other cars, and pedestrians.
In the Philippine market as far as powertrains are concerned, Chery is banking on their new generation 1.5-liter inline-four as the standard engine for all Chery Tiggo crossover models. Available with or without a turbocharger, Chery says the engine benefits from dual variable valve timing (DVVT), linear power delivery, and fuel efficiency. Having the 1.5-liter as the standard engine means Chery can easily stockpile spare parts for one engine model for greater parts availability. The 1.5-liter engine also means more attractive pricing because it qualifies free trade agreement that ASEAN has with China.
Chery Philippines, however, is already looking beyond internal combustion engines. Back in August, Chery announced their plans to introduce an all-electric car called the Arrizo 5e. Once in the market, the Arrizo 5e will usher in electric driving for the Chery brand and will be one of the most affordable EV models in the market.
Value-rich model lineup
Chery Philippines saw the way the market was moving and decided to opt for the Tiggo line of crossover SUVs to suit the new preferences of Filipino customers at a wide variety of affordable price points.
The Tiggo 2 is the most affordable of the Chery line and can be had for PhP 695,000 for the manual model up to PhP 770,000 for the automatic. For the price of an entry grade hatchback or sedan, that means you can get a crossover. The larger Tiggo 5x starts at PhP 818,000 for the base manual version to PhP 950,000 for the Luxury model that has all the bells and whistles. That means for the price of a subcompact saloon car, you are already driving a compact crossover SUV.
The bigger models of the line include the Tiggo 7, a 5-seater crossover priced at PhP 1,195,000 but has features comparable to much more expensive models. Then there is the Tiggo 8 which aims to elevate what the market can expect from Chery in the Philippines. There are two variants: the Tiggo 8 Luxury is at PhP 1,280,000 while the Luxury EX is at PhP 1,340,000.
With fresh designs, high-quality construction, a focus on features and safety, attractive warranties, years of worry-free ownership, a fast-growing nationwide dealer network, and a guarantee that parts are in stock, Chery is ready to ascend to its place where it can truly challenge the many brands competing in the Philippine auto industry. The real edge with Chery, however, is you're getting so much more than what you're paying for.