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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

WATCH: Chery showcases Jaecoo J7 SUV ahead of Mzansi launch

Muscular-looking Jaecoo will be offered as the flagship Chery product in South Africa.

Chery Automobile this week in China gave a sneak peek of the Jaecoo J7 SUV the resurgent marquee will unleash in South Africa later this year.

Watch Chery’s Jaecoo J7

While a South African contingent were shown a whole host of the Chinese carmaker’s new products at its mega factory in Wuhu, only the impressive the Jaecoo J7 has been confirmed for South Africa. Jaecoo will follow in the footsteps of Omoda which launched as a Chery sub brand in Mzansi this month.

The first impressions of the muscular-looking J7, which was also showcased alongside the bigger Jaecoo J9 at the Shanghai Auto Show, were largely impressive. The media contingent was not allowed to drive the J7 as Chery instructors gave a display of its capabilities around an impromptu test track mapped out in a parking lot.

Besides receiving acclaim from most present for its rugged, boxy styling, the Jaecoo J7’s chunky yet clean and minimalistic interior also stood out, as did its inherent eagerness off the line and limited body roll.

The Jaecoo J7 is set to make its South African debut in either the last quarter of 2023 or early in 2024. It will slot in above the Omoda C5 as a more premium offering in Chery’s portfolio.

ALSO READ: WATCH: SA-bound Chery Tiggo 7 Pro Max revealed in Shanghai

Africa important market

“The South African market is a strategic market and was one of the first right-hand-drive markets Chery launched in, and the Chery Group has been putting a lot of importance into the African market.

“We want to give our customers the best service and efficiency,” said Tony Liu, deputy managing director for Chery South Africa.

In reaction to rumours that Chery is considering opening a production facility in South Africa, Lui said a lot need to happen first.

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No factory in SA yet

He says a lot needs to come from government before Chery could consider assembly in South Africa and ultimately, exports to other markets on the African continent.

“However, we watching closely what the South African government‘s policy (on this) will be, and appealing to them assist and help the Chinese manufacturers get more and better benefits in the future, that could result in Chery setting up a factory (in South Africa), “Liu concluded.

Other than the Jaecoo J7, the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro Max and an updated version of the Tiggo 8 Pro is also planned for South Arica this year.

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