"We will put our cars to a crash test" in Chery preparing to enter Israel
In the wave of Chinese brands that has swept Israel in recent years and especially in 2022, Chery, which comes under the wings of Carso Motors, does things a little differently and with other ambitions.
Monday, October 03, 2022, 12:30 Updated: 12:58
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Omuda 5, the most modern and supposed to be its main player (photo: manufacturer's website)
The presentation by Mr. Shaw, Vice President of Chery Global begins by introducing the branched structure of Chery as a corporation and the various arms of Chery as a car manufacturer on its sub-brands.
The list is dizzying and ranges from real estate to technology, it's almost Chinese to me. But when he moves on to talk about the engines and gearboxes (over 10 models of gearboxes) that the company is developing in-house, I find the arms and legs again. According to him, they arrived in the current generation of combustion engines Their internal efficiency of 43% is a very high figure, on par with advanced Western gasoline engines. But the new world of the automobile industry is no longer there, certainly not among the Chinese manufacturers who seek to take a share of automobile sales in the West.
TIGO 8 Pro, 7 seats and luxury orientation (photo: manufacturer's website)
And when it comes to electric cars, like the western manufacturers, they start the discourse of electric cars with the holistic view of the life cycle of an electric car.
One that is committed to green production and construction, collaborative vehicle fleets and not just to zero pollutant emissions throughout the life of the car.
In fact, after 19 consecutive years of being the largest car exporter from China, someone there has very fundamentally cracked the way we got to know cars - with a factorization of the strengths that each manufacturer talks about;
From the technology of advanced safety systems, connectivity and entertainment systems, the high production quality and the list of awards won by the manufacturer.
Chery Tigo 7, in front of the Sportage and the Tucson? (Photo: Manufacturer's website)
But the reason we're interested in this interview is the more important car in Chery's range and the one that represents Chery's latest and newest products - we'll know it as Omuda 5, in other markets it's also known as FX.
The person presenting the car is Miss Lillian, the model's marketing manager.
With the Omuda 5, Geely is targeting the upper segment of the market - if we mean vehicles such as the Hyundai Ioniq 5 or the Skoda Aniac, we will have to wait to see it and drive it, previous statements like these from Chinese manufacturers turned out to be very presumptuous when we got to the product itself.
With a new platform and the intention of its global marketing also in new markets, with Europe in mind, the Omuda 5 cuts from the sometimes generic look of the products we have encountered from the Chinese automobile industry, which in many cases were rolled out of existing and sometimes outdated gasoline models.
In the passenger compartment, a 10.25-inch digital dashboard, a multimedia screen of the same size that are in the same frame, the mirror itself is clean and high-tech, with voice activation, a double cradle for wireless charging, a storage area under the floating console and more.
The engine is 1.6 liters of gasoline, supercharged with 197 hp, a double clutch gearbox with 7 gears, the acceleration to 100 is in 7.8 seconds. More details about the model and those relevant to us will arrive before the start of marketing of the model in Israel.
The passenger cabin in Omuda 5, voice activation and wireless charging for two phones (photo: manufacturer's website)
I start the interview with a simple question,
"How do Cherry characterize the Israeli market?"
, the first to answer it is Mr. Shao who says that for them our local market is considered the most similar to the European market in terms of the customer's expectations for the product level.
And yet, even though the European market to which Mr. Shaw compliments us in this association is distinctly inclined to the electric side, Chery will import three models to Israel in the first phase, all three of them crossovers, Omuda 5, Tigo 7 and Tigo 8. There is no surprise here, crossovers are the direction in which the customers are going and in which it is going The industry, even the combination of a luxurious 7-seat vehicle (the Tigo 8) is not really surprising - however, unlike the other Chinese manufacturers that entered here purely for electric propulsion - Chery does not currently have one on offer.
Which will bring them to face old and established manufacturers, and with "old world" technology, not to mention the lack of potential for a competitive advantage in the form of a reduced price of the tax benefit for an electric car.
"Why did you actually choose to reach the Israeli market with these models?"
I ask Mr. Chin, the manager of the Israeli market at Chery.
- "For the Israeli market we have chosen three models that will try to meet as many needs as possible of the Israeli customers, from the Tigo 8 for the luxury customer, the Tigo 7 for the customer looking for utility and the Omuda 5 for young customers."
"What characterizes the markets today and the Chinese brands are electric vehicles, why are you entering the market with gasoline cars?"
- "We choose our model launch strategy according to the strengths we have and the conditions in the local market. Right now, we still see a lot of potential in the gasoline car market, today and in the coming years it will continue to be dominant and also a place where we can enjoy an advantage. In the time frame of two years ahead, We will also launch electric models and plug-in versions with the growth of these segments and the customers' demand for cars."
Will the Tigo 8 Pro succeed in tickling the luxury brands or will it be a size-for-shekel proposition against the Skoda Kodiaq and the like? (Photo: Manufacturer's website)
"What is the market in which you will compete? Against whom are you positioning each of the models?"
This is a question that car manufacturers don't like, and when asked this to the people of Chery, they choose the technique of answering without giving an answer, but repeating the characteristics of each of the models and trying to hit as many audiences as possible.
In the absence of prices and without knowing exactly what specifications the cars are expected to arrive in Israel, it is difficult to put a finger on direct competitors, but the Omuda 5 may play in the field of compact crossovers, that is, from the Toyota CHR to the Nissan Qashqai and Renault Arkana.
The Tigo 7 is up against players like the Kia Sportage or the Peugeot 3008, and in the case of the 7-seater Tigo 8, the business is already more complex, as it is aimed high at the premium world, but may actually be compared to tools like the Skoda Kodiaq.
Again, it all depends on the pricing.
"When it comes to Chinese brands, the Israeli customer mainly looks for the price,
Are you going to be a price biased brand?
Or will you try to compare the price with that of other players?"
Mr. Shao explains that their intention, despite their short history, is to become a manufacturer that is in line with the largest old manufacturers in the world. ".
Chery has been developing technologies independently for almost 20 years, here with a hybrid car from 2009 (photo: manufacturer website)
"You probably know that in the last two years, the Israeli market has experienced the entry of 8-9 Chinese car brands, how do you intend to stand out in this market and not be another Chinese brand?"
Mr. Chin mentions Chery's seniority in relation to the other car brands from China and seniority, the second aspect is that, as Vice President Shao pointed out, they intend to position themselves above the other Chinese manufacturers and not compete with them on the price level, but present a more advanced and attractive product.
The third point is their intention to offer a very extensive service and warranty envelope, wider than any other brand.
An activity to take even after the purchase to connect them to the brand.
"In a world that faces supply difficulties, how can you ensure the arrival of a sufficient amount of cars for your activity?"
Mr. Shao explains that although last year, they, like the other car manufacturers, suffered from difficulties in obtaining components and maintaining the continuity of production, they believe that their experience in exporting cars from China and the fact that they managed to maintain a regular supply of cars to markets much larger than Israel and we are talking about numbers of 50 thousand units per month, It will mean that they will satisfy the needs of the local market without a problem.
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To the full article
"Of the three models you are starting to market in Israel, which model do you expect to sell the most?"
Well, this is also a question that car manufacturers don't like, and here too the choice is to give an answer and not answer.
This time it's Miss Lilian "Each of these models is a strong player in their category".
One of the most significant dead zones for some Chinese brands is the matter of their level of safety and compliance with Western crash tests,
"You have invested a lot in safety, both in 7 airbags and in advanced systems, do you intend to participate in the EURO NCAP crash tests?"
The answer from the people of Cheri was positive and unequivocally - in fact the Omuda 5 has already been subjected to the crash tests and now they are waiting for the results of the tests which should be published within the next month.
"You can't succeed in the European market without a 5-star stamp in a crash test, which is where we aimed during the development of the car."
This statement is not completely unrelated, two representatives of Chinese manufacturers who are also on their way here, the super mini funky cat of ORA, the subsidiary of Great Wall, and the crossover of WEY, the coffee 01, both won 5 crushing stars in the last set of tests, with particularly high marks precisely in the aspect of The performance of the advanced safety systems.
So the set bar is high and all that remains is to wait for Cherry's results soon.