Glen Hill
3 minute read
21 Aug 2013
12:00 am

Chery’s cheapie aims to hot up market

Glen Hill

Chery, the leading Chinese passenger vehicle exporter, is introducing a keenly priced new contender in one of the most hotly contested segments of the South African car market – the upper end of the AB segment.

The new model is the Chery J2 1.5-litre hatchback and South Africa is the first right hand drive market in the world to receive this important new model. In size the J2 competes against established popular models such as the Hyundai i20, VW Polo, Ford Fiesta and Toyota Yaris.

“From a pricing perspective the J2 significantly undercuts its competitors,” said Chery SA managing director Brett Soso. “This value for money price positioning puts the J2 squarely up against smaller A segment cars such as the Volkswagen Polo Vivo, Ford Figo and Toyota Etios.

“The J2 is priced at R129 900 and we believe it to be potentially the best seller in the local Chery range, and view its introduction as an important building block for the brand in the South African market.

“We are, of course, delighted with the recent announcement of a factory-backed warranty covering the new J2 hatchback model for five years or 120 000km, which will be a further boost to our brand building efforts locally.”

Soto added this was the longest factory warranty offered on any vehicle from a Chinese company in South Africa, and was a concrete display of the confidence the company has in its products.

The stylish J2, which was designed in-house by the Chery team, is modern in appearance, up-to-date in its specification and built in a modern new factory in Erdos, central China. It is a product of Chery’s 4S design philosophy – Sporty, Science, Space and Safety.

The J2 is a spacious, five-door, front-wheel drive hatchback powered by a 1.5-litre engine developing 72kW of power and 140Nm of torque and driving the wheels through a five-speed manual gearbox. It has a claimed maximum speed of 171km/h with acceleration from 0-100km/h in 15.1 sec with fuel consumption of 7.4l/100km for the combined cycle with emissions of 176gm/km.

There is only one model, the very well equipped TX. The windows and exterior rear view mirrors are electrically-operated, while air conditioning, with easy to use controls, is standard, as is a six-speaker audio system with radio, front loader CD player and USB port.

The seats are covered in attractive cloth, with the rear seat backrest able to be folded forward to extend the load capability of the already large luggage space. The attractively-styled dashboard has the instruments and controls well placed ergonomically and all controls are light and easy to operate.

Safety is a high priority with Chery and the J2 has achieved a four-star rating according to the Chinese N-Cap system, which is similar to Euro N-Cap. Standard features include driver and passenger airbags, side impact protection bars, anti skid brakes with electronic brake distribution, seatbelts with pre-tensioners, fog lamps front and rear, heated rear window with wiper and a high level brake light. The halogen headlights are height-adjustable.

There is peace of mind for buyers in terms of the five year/120 000km factory warranty and a two year/30 000km service plan with services at every 15 000km or 12 months.

Chery SA sells the most affordable new car in SA, the QQ3, the J1 and J3 hatchbacks as well as the Tiggo SUV and the addition of the new Chery J2 will ensure that Chery SA goes from strength to strength as strategic new models are added to the range.