By on February 18, 2013

Qoros 3 Sedan

At the Geneva auto show, the long awaited Chinese attack on the embattled European auto market will finally get started in earnest – with the help of German and Austrian engineers, and money from Israel. Qoros is a joint venture partnership between China’s Chery and the Israel Corporation. Qoros wants to be to Chery what Lexus is to Toyota and Acura to Honda. It also wants to be the key that unlocks foreign volume markets.

 

The names on the doors of the executive suite at Qoros sound like a who’s who of European automotive management: A former Executive Vice President of Volkswagen of America, Volker Steinwascher, is Vice Chairman. Gert Hilderbrand. before Chief Designer of MINI at BMW, is head of design. A former Chief Engineer of BMW, Klaus Schmidt, is in charge of engineering. Peter Matkin, formerly Chief Engineer at Jaguar Land Rover, is in charge of the vehicle program.

Qoros 3 Sedan

The cars look a bit more conservative that the cow designs Hildebrandt showed two years ago.

First will be the Qoros 3 Sedan,due to be launched in China in the second half of 2013, with first European sales following later in the year. Launches of further Qoros models are promised at six month intervals.

Qoros 3 Estate Concept

“The car will attack the 6,000 euro more expensive VW Jetta,” reports Germany’s BILD Zeitung. The paper entertains its readers with the Landwind crashs from 2005, but also reports that the engines come from AVL in Austria, the engineering is from Magna Steyr, “and many parts come from Germany.”

Speaking of safety, Qoros says it “aims to achieve top scores on both European and Chinese crash tests for all its models.”

Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept

Chery is China’s largest independent automaker. In a stagnant Chinese market, independents are feeling the pinch by joint ventures between large multinationals and state-owned Chinese companies. Independents seek their salvation in exports, but, as we reported from the Global Automotive Forum in Chengdu, “exports usually come from backwards companies,” as Donfeng’s chairman Zhu referred to China’s second and third tier car companies. Chery wants to break that mold, exporting cars one can be proud of. To sell and to buy.

 

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

31 Comments on “The Chinese Are Coming! Seriously Now...”


  • avatar
    infinitime

    Wow, is it possible to come up with a more generic Euro-sedan/wagon design than this??? This looks like the “generic” car used in car insurance ads.

    Frankly, I think Chery’s chances were greater with an existing proven design, sold cheap. There are just too many contingencies with an untested design…

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    The SUV looks like a jacked up Golf, but I like the back end.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    If this is approximately 8,000 USD less expensive than the VW Golf, its engine truly come from AVL in Austria, its unibody (& chassis) is truly engineered (and fabricated?) by Magna Steyr, and it truly is crash test rated as advertised, I’d be very, very, very worried if I were in the executive suites at VW, GM, Toyota or many other global automakers.

    I think it looks outstanding, and that the world is hungry for a truly affordable, high quality vehicle, that may be basic, honest transportation, but that lives up to modern reliability & durability standards.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      The problem with Chinese Trucks they are trying to sell in Australia is they have parts from established western OEM’s but the final product is far from successful. Chinese vehicles still have a long way to go before they reach the standard reached by their Electronics industry.

      • 0 avatar
        jpolicke

        They’ve already reached the level of their capacitor industry. No telling how many PC motherboards I’ve written off due to failed bulging caps. Chinese makers will be happy to build a reliable, durable, safe car – as long as it doesn’t add a penny of extra cost.

      • 0 avatar

        Don’t know about Chinese but Samsung is the winner in blown capacitors race: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1388883/replacing-blown-capacitors-on-samsung-lcd-ln46a650.

        I replaced capacitors in multiple Samsung products already including my own Samsung big screen LED TV at home. At work we keep replacing blown caps in Samsung monitors like in assembly line. Needless to say I am not going to buy Hyudai thing any time soon.

      • 0 avatar
        Dynasty

        When I rebuilt my “all American” vintage Fisher tube amp, I replaced the German capacitors in it with modern high quality Japanese Panasonic caps.

        After the caps broke in and loosened up a bit, it sounds great!

    • 0 avatar
      Athos Nobile

      “I think it looks outstanding, and that the world is hungry for a truly affordable, high quality vehicle, that may be basic, honest transportation, but that lives up to modern reliability & durability standards.”

      ^^^^ THIS!!!

      If the quality and safety are there, I can see this thing selling. Easily.

      @RR, this looks like a well rounded and finished car. Far better than the Great Wall trucks being sold here, which by the way, are heaps better than the stuff I saw from them in Venezuela.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        I was using JAC trucks as an example that have all the proper foreign OEM parts but really fail as an overall vehicle. The Chinese Buses look the goods as well, but are considered very poor quality by people in the transport business.

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    Those 3 cars are beautiful machines. I could see myself driving one. The interior of the Q3 looks elegant and premium for a compact.

    Any plans to sell them in the 3rd world? In Australia?

    There’s a lot of good stuff going on within those “backwards manufacturers”.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Athos Nobile,
      They will be sold in China and other parts of Asia. They are trying to get European distributors. Not good timing for that.

      • 0 avatar
        Athos Nobile

        Actually the timing is perfect. This shark is going after Dacia Logan’s blood, with Jetta-like detailing.

        In crisis ridden EU it will be either dirt cheap or premium. If they aim the middle, they’re surely toast.

  • avatar
    analoca

    Japanese makes arrived many years ago and still do not dominate Europe. It will take a while for the Chinese to have some weight in the European scene…At the end European drivers have a clear preference for European cars.

  • avatar
    StaysCrunchy

    The back end of that Cross Hybrid concept is a bit too busy, with the chrome handle, 4 lamps, chrome strip, emblems, wiper, spoiler, exhaust tips, etc., but other than that I really dig the looks of both it and the Estate conecpt.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    This could be an example of how short sighted decisions at the highest executive levels comes back to haunt the primary manufacturers.

    It may have seemed to have made sense for some manufacturers to outsource fabrication of vehicle bodies and chassis’ to companies like Magna Steyr when times were really good, and spare manufacturing capacity for making these core components was hard to find, but what this did was empower a subset of companies like Magna Steyr (allowing them to amortize massive initial capital outlay costs), which have become increasingly closer to auto manufacturers in and of themselves.

    Now, when times are lean, and manufacturing capacity is very abundant (and also at a time when Magna Steyr isn’t getting a lot of this former business from the major manufacturers), Magna Steyr can leverage its expertise in engineering AND fabrication to provide top-notch quality core components to aggressive upstarts like Qoros.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      I agree with you. It would be interesting to see established car makers taken out by Chinese car makers with engineering from suppliers the established makers helped form. This really shows you how smart outsourcing is.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Magna Steyr has been building Mercedes-Benz’ best product since the late 1970s and they’ve been building complete cars under their own brands on and off since 1906.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        I learn something new almost every day.

        I researched what you said. I wasn’t previously aware that Magna Steyr produced 100% finished vehicles to be rebadged.

        On that note, regarding that Top Gear episode filmed in China where both Clarkson & May opined that the Chinese vehicles they were driving were not quite there yet but getting much closer for prime time success in western markets, I assume those were not of the quality that they would have been had they been of the Magna Steyr type?

        (I realize Top Gear is entertainment more so than information, but there’s something of some actual value in a bit of their opinions.)

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        Doesn’t Mercedes-Benz outsourcing their “best products” to Magna back up DeadWeight’s point? Now that they have that expertise they can sell it to the Chinese. If Mercedes built those cars themselves, as well as the other manufactures that outsourced their products to Magna, they wouldn’t have as much to sell. These manufactures gave up their trade secrets for a couple better quarters on the balance sheets, with no long term foresight.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          The G-wagen was a joint venture between Magna-Steyr, leveraging Magna-Steyr-Puch’s expertise at building off-road vehicles. Perhaps you’ve heard of the Puch Pinzgauer or Halflinger. If anyone gained know-how from the marriage, chances are it was Daimler-Benz.

        • 0 avatar
          corntrollio

          No, not quite. Magna Steyr developed Mercedes’ 4Matic system and assembles E-Class 4Matics currently.

          Magna Steyr also helped develop cars like the BMW X3 and the Audi TT, and then built them. If I remember correctly, Infiniti was going to use them to build Mercedes-platform-based cars. Mercedes originally planned to use them for the CLS-class, but I think that will stay in Sindelfingen.

          They’ve also built things like the Mercedes SLS AMG, in addition to the G-Wagen. Porsche was going to have them build Boxsters and Caymans until VW corporate vetoed that plan and told them to use Karmann.

          Magna has plenty of its own expertise that other manufacturers leverage and plenty of its own IP. It doesn’t need to steal IP Chinese-style, and I’m certain that any trade secrets that Mercedes, Audi, and anyone else gave them are under strict NDA, so they absolutely can’t use them with these Chinese wannabes.

          I’m surprised that you guys haven’t heard of Magna Steyr. They’ve been around a long time, although ownership has transferred a bit recently. At least read the Wikipedia page or something before you start making assumptions.

  • avatar
    Wscott97

    Put a VW, Audi or BMW emblem on it and people would be praising the design. Put Lexus, Toyota or a Honda emblem on it and the car will be boring. Now that it’s a Chinese company that people don’t know, it’s Generic. I defiantly see a trend in these comments.

    Personally I like the design and I would drive it. It’s clean, and has a sleek shape. The only questions I have would be about the quality, ride and power.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    What? Now the Germans, Austrians and Israelis (imagine that combination about 70 years ago!) are going to sell us Chinese cars? Gott in Himmel!

    I thought for sure that bumbling, idiotic GM was going to flood the world with Chinese cars. God almighty, they even screwed that up…

    No, wait! Honda is already selling Chinese cars in North America… Oh, it’s OK then… Chinese cars are good then, right BS?

    What this really does is make Frank Stronach’s (Magna) desire to have his own automobile company come to fruition. Maybe GM should have sold Opel to Magna, these could have been labeled as Opels instead of Qoros or Qatar or Quisp…

  • avatar
    phreshone

    Chinese cars will bring back “Rustproofing” as a must-have dealer-installed option

  • avatar
    infinitime

    I should qualify my earlier comment… I have driven Cherys (mostly QQ and A5 models). Not one, but at least half a dozen. The general impression is that they are decent cars, but need some refining before they are fit for prime time on the world stage. I shy away from comparing them to a Korean car, but a Hyundai from the late 90s comes to mind.

    Decent, and if parts network is readily available, a pretty safe bet on a simple design.

    The biggest problem is that it has NO brand recognition outside of China, the CIS states, a few South American and Middle Eastern countries, and some other smaller markets in SE Asia. Why would an European consumer consider a Qoros, essentially an upper-scale Chery, when they have no conception of what a Chery is?

    Would anyone have seriously considered a Lexus, in a market where Toyota had not been tolling away to establish a reputation for two-to-three decades? Would the Hyundai Genesis sell in a market where the Accent, Elantra and Sonata never existed?

    Maybe at the bottom end of the market is more inclined to take a change. Less so in a pricier segment. There is a reason why the Kia Rio sold well, but the Amanti languished on the same lot.

    Chery needs to establish itself first as a reliable cheap car (a la Logan or the new post-Cold War Skodas), before attempting to market itself in the same segment as the mid-tier VWs.

  • avatar
    Carl Kolchak

    Doesn’t Chery own Volvo? If so, coming to a “Swedish” car dealer near you.

    • 0 avatar
      ranwhenparked

      No, that would be Geely, another Chinese “independent”.

      Chery doesn’t own any foreign automakers at present, but does have a new joint venture with Jaguar Land Rover and an array of domestic brands (Chery, Riich, Rely, and Karry) as well as the new Qoros joint venture.

  • avatar

    “Qoros wants to be to Chery what … Acura to Honda”

    Not a good idea – just ask Lincoln Motor Company.
    I also want to blame Obama but cannot figure out for what. Any ideas?

  • avatar
    MBella

    This is interesting. The answer to whether or not this is successful will depend on the details. Will the materials feel nice? Will the cabin be filled with hundreds of different cancerous smells. Maybe this will be were the Germans come in. If so I would be worried. The Continental tires are an interesting touch. No GT Radials or Nankangs.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States