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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

WATCH: Stylish Jaecoo SUV could be next Chery bound for SA

This car is aimed at buyers classified as being focused-driven with style and delicacy.

Having become a household name since returning to South Africa two years ago, Chery was in full bloom during the Shanghai Auto Show this week.

The Chinese automaker not only officially debuted its new Tiggo 9 Pro, but also a new brand that forms part of its diversification strategy.

Watch Chery’s Jaecoo 9

Announcing the brand’s sales success last year of 400 000 units globally, Chery International Executive Vice-President Charlie Zhang said the marque will be pushing for 750 000 this year.

At present, including South Africa, Chery has a presence in 80 countries with Zhang stating that the rise has been the result of understanding the market and coming with fresh ideas.

Centre to this is the introduction of the Jaecoo brand that joins the Omoda division that launched with the C5 in South Africa this month and the all-electric Xlantic that will remain restricted to China for now.

The fourth brand, the upmarket Exeed, also remains bound to China for now.

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Style and delicacy

Aimed at buyers classified as being focused-driven with style and delicacy, the Jaecoo will initially have a choice of two models, the 7 and 9.

As with the Omoda C5, the Jaeco 7 and 9 are spun-offs of existing Chery models the Tiggo 7 Pro and Tiggo 9 Pro.

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Despite the 9 bearing a close resemblance to the Tiggo 9 Pro, the 7 boasts a flatter frontal appearance than the Tiggo 7 Pro, as well a different interior.

While still to be confirmed outright, rumours are that Chery could debut the Jaecoo brand in South Africa by next year.

An all-electric version of the Omoda C5 also debuted in Shanghai, along with Chery’s latest hybrid powertrain.

Electric revolution

A key component in its range of offering hybrid, plug-in hybrid, range extending electric vehicle, fuel cell vehicle and full EVs, the new unit combines the brand’s 1.5 T-GDi engine with an electric motor and two unique transmissions. The first with a single one-speed and the second a brand-new there-speed bound for high-end SUVs.

While it didn’t disclose any final power outputs, the end result, in the case of the latter, is a claimed combined range of 1 400 km and a fuel consumption of 4.2 litres per 100 km in the case of the former.

In Shanghai, where EVs take up a large chunk of sales as indicated by its claimed 3 000 plus charging outlets, Chery also unveiled a new battery pack it says will propel the vehicle it is powering from 0 to 100 km/h in three seconds, while providing a range of 700 km.

Which of these models Chery South Africa will bring in has not been announced.

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