Sales Start In Slovakia; Could Hit 30,000 In 2017 Across Europe.
Qoros of China made a big splash at the Geneva Car Show earlier this year, then went very quiet with a no-show at Frankfurt.
But any European manufacturers thinking the Chinese have slunk away will be disappointed. Qoros has begun selling the 3 in Europe, with a first dealership in Slovakia, and late last month earned itself a five-star EuroNCAP rating. This will boost the project’s credibility, not least because of negative headlines earned by previous Chinese cars in crash tests.
IHS Auto was impressed.
“While there is no doubt that Qoros still faces enormous challenges in terms of gaining meaningful traction and share in the European market place, this excellent crash test shows that the firm’s management team are prioritizing the right areas and this will bring credibility and a positive foundation for the marketing campaign that will support the brand’s European entry,” said IHS Auto’s Tim Urquhart.
Qoros said it plans a gradual expansion across Europe in the next three years. Volume sales will begin in China later this year. Qoros’ first vehicle, the top of the range 3 Elegance has a Euro V compliant turbocharged, 154 hp, 1.6 litre petrol engine, priced from €20,960. Other models will be sold at well below €20,000 when it is introduced across Europe, Qoros said.
At the Geneva show, prices were expected to start at a significantly higher level of close to €28,000 in Germany
Qoros, built in China by a partnership of Chery and Israel Corporation, said it will compete on value, not price, and with its long-wheel base and short overhangs, has much internal space and promises good handling. Qoros said there will be a petrol electric hybrid next year, and there’s an estate car on the horizon.
IHS Auto expects Qoros sales to reach 25,000 in 2016 and 30,000 in 2017. Sales in China should hit over 100,000 in 2017. The Qoros factory in China is believed to have initial capacity of 150,000 vehicles a year, with the potential for 450,000.