By on May 18, 2010

You think U.S. car makers suffer from brand confusion? Come to China! China’s Chery for instance is known for their low-cost cars, especially for their ubiquitous el cheapo QQ. In order to venture into more upscale segments, Chery launched a number of brands, amongst them Rely (for SUVs, get it?), Karry (for minivans and pick-ups, get it?) and Riich (for upscale models, get it?) Now, the confusion starts.

Chery is about to launch the Riich M2, which “could be one of China’s cheapest cars,” if China Car Times is not mistaken. It’s a two-seater city car (shades of that German brand confusion called Smart). It looks like a “honey, I shrunk the Chery QQ3 and gave it a Riich badge.” An all-electric version is in the realm of the possibility. A pluggable prototype was on display at the Beijing Auto Show. The future price of the Riich M2 is unknown. But the two-seater has to duke it out with the likes of the five door, Aygo-inspired, BYD F0 that starts at 34,000RMB ($4,900), or with Chang’an’s bestselling Ben Ben Mini that can be had for only 29,000RMB ($4,200.) Before the customary steep discounts. They all seat at least four. More in a pinch. Those low-budget midget-mobiles haven’t received the fawning media accolades like the Nano, but unlike the Nano, they are being stamped out and sold by the hundreds of thousands each.

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6 Comments on “Chinese Confusion: Riich Or Cheap?...”


  • avatar

    Bertel, I am writing a piece on the state of the Chinese auto industry for CCT, and I’d like to ask you for some input. Please email me at analyst i3china.net if you are interested.

    Thanks

  • avatar
    Stingray

    Looks like a crazy place over there

  • avatar
    RangerM

    Karry I get. Riich I get……but, Rely for SUVs?

    {At the risk of being ridiculed} No, I don’t get it.

    • 0 avatar
      Tosh

      I don’t get Rely either…

      Until now, I didn’t really care if Chinese cars were sold here in the US: I certainly wouldn’t be buying one anyway, so what do I care how shitty they are, right? But now that it’s obvious how grotesque they ALL are, I’m concerned for my on-road aesthetic sensibilities and worrying about having the dry heaves at every intersection. ‘Ugly’ doesn’t begin to describe how wrong they all look. BS, what do the Chinese themselves have to say about the styling?

  • avatar
    jacksonbart

    Thier Halo model should be called the Piit. (insert rimshot sound)

  • avatar
    OMG_Shoes

    Gag. The thing is, Chinese cars are going to come to the US market. It’s only a matter of time. Aside from the obvious issues from a country where cheating on safety tests is the way of life (the source of toxic toothpaste and pet food and kids’ toys and dangerous toasters with counterfeit safety approval labels), there is the matter of their asinine Chinglish names. Look, if you’re going to give your product an English name, great. Go for it. If you’re going to give your product a not-quite-English name, have at it. But in either case, you need to hire someone who actually speaks the damn language you’re trying to use (or trying to twist). “Karry” is OK, but “Riich”? No. Sorry. Fail. And that’s a relatively minor offense against the eye and ear; how long before some enterprising Chinese decides to name his car company along the lines of Henan Succeed New Energy Material Company, or his car along the lines of any of these idiotic Japanese examples?

    To hell with pedal-spacing standards and A-pillars 11 inches wide to accommodate seven airbags apiece and support ten times the car’s weight; we need a new Federal regulation barring importation of cars with retarded names.

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