MG, BYD, Nio, Great Wall: Some Chinese car manufacturers are already present in Germany with several vehicle models. But the China wave is set to get even bigger; Now Chery, the next car manufacturer from the Far East, is in the starting blocks. The company plans to roll out the Omoda and Jaecoo brands in the near future.

The Omoda 5 is scheduled to come to Germany in the spring. The compact crossover will compete with the BYD Atto 3 and the Cupra Ateca – but first with a combustion engine, before an electric version will follow. The Omoda 5 is scheduled to be launched in the UK at the end of 2023, as the car magazine “AM-Online” reported in August. The Jaecoo 7 and Jaecoo 8 will also soon be available in Germany. It is hardly surprising that the models are visually reminiscent of a Land Rover. Finally, Chery operates a joint venture with Jaguar Land Rover.

Chery’s electric brand Exlantix also plans to launch an SUV and a sedan in China in October. The vehicles will later find their way to Europe. While numerous car manufacturers have long been fighting for the success of electric cars and Chinese companies are bringing battery-powered vehicles to Europe, Chery is apparently not in such a hurry with electromobility.

But the global market is not new territory for Chery. The car manufacturer has already launched in Spain, Mexico, Israel, Turkey, Kuwait, Australia and New Zealand. And the company has been running a design and development center in Raunheim near Frankfurt for several years. There are also collaborations with Huawei, the battery manufacturer CATL and suppliers such as Magna, Continental and Bosch.

In fact, Chery is one of the best-selling international car brands in Russia. Like other Chinese companies, Chery is filling the gap left by Western carmakers when they stopped doing business in Russia as a result of the Russian war of aggression.

At the end of August, the “Handelsblatt” reported on Chery’s plans to take over the former VW factory in Kaluga, Russia. Accordingly, appropriate negotiations were underway with the owner. In the future, the Omoda 5 for the Russian market could roll off the production line in the plant that Volkswagen sold shortly after the start of the Ukraine war. In addition, Chery probably also held corresponding discussions with the owners of other former factories of Western car manufacturers.

With an expansion of its business activities in Russia, the situation surrounding the e-car strategy could also change, according to China expert Gregor Sebastian from the Merics Institute in Berlin. “The Russian manufacturer Lada cannot take over all the factories. This offers a huge opportunity for Chery or Wall Motors to generate more profits through the Russian market and thus catch up in the car market,” Sebastian told “ntv” last month.

Industry expert Prof. Ferdinand Dudenhöffer from the CAR Center Automotive Research, however, assessed the expanding car manufacturer’s situation as more difficult. “Chery fits the basic cars in Russia. There is a very big risk that Chery has a factory in Russia, but is unlikely to come into the EU with its Russian cars. At first glance, Kaluga looks like a bargain , but cars that can only be sold in Russia or Belarus are only half the battle.”

In order for Chery’s cars to be successful in Europe, the manufacturer consciously wants to meet the requirements of Western consumers. “We want to achieve five stars in the NCAP test,” Chery Automobile International Executive Vice President Charlie Zhang told Wirtschaftswoche. By the end of the year, the number of engineers at Chery is expected to increase from 9,000 to around 11,000. If the market launch in the car nation of Germany is successful, a plant here is also conceivable. But first of all, the Chinese cars have to impress local customers. Because the competition from other Chinese models is constantly growing and the established Western car manufacturers also have to assert themselves more strongly again.

Sources: Wirtschaftswoche, AM-Online, Handelsblatt, ntv