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Magna Said To Be Teaming Up With Chery Of China

Could The “Qoros” Turn Out To Be A Real Threat To Europeans?

Another major European car show has been and gone, and still the feared threat from China failed to materialise. But the absence of Chinese cars from the Frankfurt Car Show in any force doesn’t mean the threat won’t appear someday soon, and a reported deal between Magna and Chery brings that closer, according to a report from IHS Automotive.

IHS said Chery of China is developing a range of three cars with Israel Corp to be exported to Europe, with Magna the  engineering partner.

“The involvement of Magna suggests that Chery is serious about attempting to gain a foothold in the European market,” said IHS Automotive analyst Tim Urquhart.

IHS only expects sales of 9,000 by 2015 from this Chery venture, although this could rise if the company opts for a European factory, and the initial response to the cars is positive.

The cars would be called Qoros, with an early concentration on electric powertrains. Israel Corp has a 30 per cent stake in Better Place, which is trying to set up battery-swap ventures with Renault in Israel, Denmark and Portugal.

Shanghai Automotive has attempted to resurrect the MG brand with minor sales so far, while China’s Geely is the biggest presence in Europe with its purchase of Volvo. So far Chinese attempts to sell cars in Europe have not been successful. Brilliance’s BS6 failed safety tests so badly that it attracted widespread publicity.

“Safety is one of the most important criteria that the Chinese will have to prove they have fulfilled when they do make full-scale attempts to enter the European market. Again, any perceived shortcomings in this area are likely to be widely publicised,” Urquhart said.

Neil Winton – October 5, 2011

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