China might be going on a deadly brand binge as Bertel prognosticated. Here is a new brand that at least is worth a look: Qoros. It is a joint venture between Chery Automotive and Quantum LLC from Israel. The joint venture had been approved way back in 2007, but things slowed down soon after that – in 2008. Now they are back, with a very first concept car that looks – well, it looks like a cow.
Qoros wants to make high-quality cars to compete with the likes of Acura, Luxus, Infiniti, Volvo, and ultimately the German Three. Cars will be made for China and for export to Europe. No clear plans yet for export to the US or other markets.
The factory is based in the great city of Changshu in Jiangsu province. The R&D Center is in Shanghai, perhaps not a single well-paid designer would ever go to a place called Changshu. Quantum and Chery have to far invested 3.40 billion yuan, or 534 million US dollar. Engines will be newly designed by the Austrian company AVL and made in China by Chery.
An ambitious plan it is. But we like ambitious plans. Furthermore, Qoros managed to hire some hot shots.
2. as chief designer: Gert Hildebrand, designer of the original new-Mini. Left.
3. as President and CEO: Guo Qian from Chery. You guessed it.
The cars: the weird looking cow car previews a compact sedan that has to hit the market in 2013. Next up is a compact hatchback, followed by an SUV, and followed again by some ‘EV products’. We will shall wait and see.
Dutchman Tycho de Feyter runs Carnewschina, a blog about cars in China, from Beijing, China. He also collects die-cast models of Chinese cars.