Charl Bosch
Online Motoring Reporter
3 minute read
18 Aug 2021
5:29 pm

What to expect from Chery’s return to South Africa

Charl Bosch

Central to the brand are technology, safety and putting customers first.

Front facia of the Tiggo 4 Pro

Having made the announcement of its return to South Africa at the end of last month, Chinese automaker Chery provided a first glimpse of its new line-up at the official media briefing in Johannesburg earlier today (18 August).

Returning to the local market wholly under its parent company after quietly departing three years ago, the brand, which entered South Africa in 2009 as one of the first Chinese marques, will launch its first model in the fourth quarter of this year before debuting a further four over the next 24 months.

With the aim of increasing its market share in Africa and ultimately expanding its dealer network in South Africa beyond the current 30, the brand will kick its return off by introducing a number of SUVs under the established Tiggo moniker, plus a bakkie in the third quarter of 2023.

Chery returns to South Africa
Tiggo 7 Pro shown at the local unveiling in Russian market spec.

Debuting this year, the Tiggo 4 Pro, known elsewhere as the Tiggo 5x, will take aim at the Ford EcoSport, Toyota Urban Cruiser/Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Nissan Magnite and Kia Sonet as well as the incoming Renault Kiger.

Unveiled three years ago before receiving a facelift last year, the Tiggo 4 Pro derives power from two versions of Chery’s 1.5-litre petrol engine; a normally aspirated unit and a T-GDI turbo variant hooked to either a six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed dual-clutch. Also offered is a normally aspirated 2.0-litre mated to a CVT.

ALSO READ: Second bite: China’s Chery returning to South Africa

Due to be released in the second quarter of 2022, the one up Tiggo 7 Pro will compete against the Kia Sportage, Haval Jolion, Toyota RAV4, Hyundai Tucson, Nissan Qashqai and Mazda CX-5 with it being underpinned by the same T1X platform as the Tiggo 4 Pro.

Chery returns to South Africa
Interior of the Tiggo 7 Pro

First shown in 2016 before being updated two years later, the Tiggo 7 Pro is powered by the same 1.5 T-GDI engine as the Tiggo 4 Pro, or Chery’s new 145kW/290Nm 1.6 T-GDl. Transmissions comprise of a six-speed manual, a seven-speed dual-clutch and a CVT.

Set to debut in the third quarter of next year is the still to be seen Tiggo 7 Pro Cross, of which little is known about at present.

At the top of the range is the Tiggo 8 Pro that will be launching in the first quarter of next year. Also based on the T1X architecture, the Tiggo 8 Pro, which received a facelift last year, offers a choice of five or seven seats, but at the official launch, bowed in the latter guise sans the Plus designation it carries in China.

Chery returns to South Africa
Also in Russian market spec, the seven-seat Tiggo 8 Pro.

Like its siblings, it also comes motivated by the mentioned 1.5 and 1.6-litre turbo engines, as well as a forced induction 2.0 T-GDI that delivers 192kW/400Nm. Depending on the powerunit, a choice of four transmissions are offered; a six-speed manual, a six or seven-speed dual-clutch and a CVT.

“South Africa is a very important market for us. Customers have high expectations, and we want to meet and exceed them. By entering the market directly, customers will be able to experience the best that Chery has to offer, both in customer service and in our next-generation of product,” Chery South Africa Executive Deputy General Manager Tony Liu said.

“In 2010, our chairman, Yin Tongyue, shared with the world our change from a company that was focused on sales, speed and scale to one that is fanatical about quality, brand and long-term returns. This is most evident in our new range of products, and we cannot wait to show them to South African customers.”

Full specification details and pricing will be announced later.