By on April 21, 2013

BMW Mini’s former chief designer Gert Hildebrand and Volkswagen’s former North America vice chief Volker Steinwascher enjoyed the adolations of the adoring masses when they unveiled their new Qoros brand at the Shanghai Auto Show.

The new brand is  a joint venture between China’s Chery and Israel’s Israel Corp..

The  company plans to start production with the Qoros 3 sedan at an initial capacity of 150,000 units.

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18 Comments on “Shanghai Auto Show: Qoros Debuts In China...”

  • avatar

    I’m all for variety and thinks it’s always sad when a long lasting brand disappears. Strangely, I don’t harbor such sympathy for newcomers. My first thought when I heard news of a new Chinese brand was: Why?

    Has anyone figured out what Qoros is supposed to mean?

    • 0 avatar

      Marcelo, their website says:

      “Qoros is the global name for our new company. ‘Q’ signifies our commitment to quality, which should be judged by the highest international standards. The pronunciation of Qoros is also similar to the Greek word ‘khoros’, which means a chorus of many voices. Qoros the company is therefore an expression of many voices and talents from all over the world, working together as one team to create quality products.”

      Actually, I expected that drivel to be in Chinglesh, so at least they hired some competent localization people. Maybe they’ll be competent in other areas if they’ve done a good job of headhunting.

      But yeah, with global overcapacity who needs newbies that only make clones.

      • 0 avatar
        VA Terrapin

        Summicron wrote:

        “Actually, I expected that drivel to be in Chinglesh, so at least they hired some competent localization people. Maybe they’ll be competent in other areas if they’ve done a good job of headhunting.

        But yeah, with global overcapacity who needs newbies that only make clones.”

        There’s definitely an overcapacity of bigots like Summicron who love to bash Asian auto and auto companies on English language websites covering cars.

    • 0 avatar
      VA Terrapin

      Marcelo de Vasconcellos wrote:

      “I’m all for variety and thinks it’s always sad when a long lasting brand disappears. Strangely, I don’t harbor such sympathy for newcomers. My first thought when I heard news of a new Chinese brand was: Why?”

      The Chinese car market isn’t mature. The Chinese car companies that succeed by the time China has a mature car market will make some people very rich.

  • avatar

    Both the team and the car are intriguing. Could be a very good subject for an interview.

  • avatar

    3, it’s the magic number!

  • avatar

    I was able to look over the Qoros cars in some detail at Geneva in March, and also able to talk to Herr Hildebrand and some other mainly ex-Jaguar Land Rover high-ups.

    The 3 sedan’s styling is disappointingly tame, resembling a European Toyota Avensis Sedan, but with lights and external trim details closer to current VWs and Seats. The interior is very much in the VW / BMW mould, and has plenty evidence of upmarket ambitions – special seat fabric with a ‘3’ theme for example.

    I asked Gert Hildebrand if we would see some “surprise and delight” in the MINI Clubman manner, but it seems the brief was for subtle and timeless design. He did at least manage to get some very MINI-ish door handles into the mix.

    I was given confirmation that the present 1.6 four, one of Chery’s ACTECO series is a stop-gap, but is considered well up to the requirements of the preliminary markets. The forthcoming 1.2 triple and 1.6 four, designed with world-renowned Austrian specialist AVL, will feature direct petrol injection and will be the equal of the most up to date European equivalents. Fuel efficiency of the upcoming engine family is so good that there are no plans to develop a diesel, as has been reported elsewhere.

    Engineering generally is thoroughly orthodox – Macpherson struts up front, torsion beam at the rear, electrically assisted rack and pinion steering, and a six speed Getrag gearbox.

    There was real buzz around the Geneva stand, lots of media attention for the new brand launch, and serious approaches from potential concessionaires. Qouros’s present export ambitions are modest – First European intention is a still to be decided ‘small country in Eastern Europe’ working with a local distributor, rather than setting up a directly owned company. It seems more of a validation exercise to promote an image of being upmarket of other Chinese domestic makers than a major export drive.

    As for future prospects, the heavyweight European design and management team have a hell of a task on their hands. Chery produce about 600,000 vehicles a year at present, so 150,000 cars looks seriously ambitious. Also, at Shanghai, Audi and Mercedes Benz were majoring on low-cost C-segment sedans tailored to the preferences of affluent urban Chinese – exactly Qoros’s chosen territory.

    Qoros looks like one to watch, but their masters had better be ready to play a long game.

  • avatar

    I thought they were talking about the Kia kia Quoris.

  • avatar

    The party is very much over populated.

    The upside is employment for Lo Ois who would probably have joined the under-employment lists.

  • avatar

    Does anyone know what parts suppliers that Qoros is using? A quick google search of interior pics revealed what appears to be VW window-switches.

  • avatar

    The “technology partners” listed by Qoros are:

    Magna Steyr

    Also American Axle for drive system of the forthcoming 4×4 Cross-Hybrid – the set up on the Geneva stand was a convincing looking mock-up.

  • avatar

    I was thinking that Qoros and to a certain extent Detroit Electric are doing things the way things were done by just about everyone in the early days of the auto industry and then by the independents. They put together components, including engines, chassis and bodies, mostly engineered and designed by suppliers. The difference is that Qoros is following Apple’s innovation of having China assemble all the value-added componentry made somewhere else.

    Is Qoros’ list of technology partners substantially different than Kaiser Frazer buying bodies from Budd and engines from Continental?

  • avatar

    Engineer a good car. Fill it with good components. If you don’t have the resources to engineer good components, buy the best.

    The idea is sound. I’ve just driven a Chinese pick-up that features Lotus suspension engineering, Dana axles, a Getrag transmission and a Cummins engine. Don’t know what brand is on the brakes, but they work shockingly well.

    The Chinese model is slowly converging with the Japanese/Korean model. And once the last few niggles of trim/fitment and tactility are solved, they’ll be able to turn the automotive order on its head.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    The pickup is called a Foton Tunland, they are selling them in Australia. I do think once they iron some of the bugs out of it, it will be a good pickup. I do think they are optimistic on pricing though. It’s actually bigger than our new midsizer ie Amarok and Ranger. The bed is a bee’s dick under 8′.

    The pickup has a Borg Warner tx case, Bosch electronics as well, all relatively good equipment.

    The Cummins is the 2.8 ISF, this is the same engine that will be going into the Nissan Titan. Cummins and Nissan have done great work with the engine. It’s 2.8 litres developing over 200hp and over 400ftlb of torque. It will not require AddBlue either.

    The link below is on the Ford Escort which will be made in China for the Chinese market. Very interesting story, especially if you consider Ford Australia also designed the global Ranger and BT50.


    • 0 avatar

      Yup. The Tunland doesn’t get the whole 200 hp in our market (it’s called the “Thunder” here), but it goes pretty well. During our recent track tests, handling was better than the Chevy Colorado and braking was exceptional, matching that of the Ranger.

      After our track tests, we allowed the manufacturer representatives go out in their own cars. Seeing a Chinese executive throwing a brand new pick-up through a sweeper at near 80 mph, tires squealing, deformed, drifting nearly into the gravel traps, is quite a sight.

      Next year, we’re putting a chicane there. Or two. Or three.

    • 0 avatar

      Big Al,

      As far as units of measurement go, is a “bee’s dick” larger or smaller than a RCH?

  • avatar

    I don’t know whether it will be Qoros, but eventually someone will successfully synthesize European design and feel, Asian build quality, and low manufacturing cost, and make a killing.

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