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Thursday, December 27, 2012

An Israeli car, sort of, gets ready for the EU market

From CarBuzz:
New automakers from China seem to be popping up left and right these days, but only a few will actually survive to export cars from the (ironically) decentralized local automotive industry. One of the new brands that's showing potential is Qoros, a joint venture between Chery Automobile and Israel Corporation. And now it has revealed initial images and details of its first model, the GQ3 compact sedan. Set for a live debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, the GQ3 is sized to compete with the likes of the Ford Focus and Honda Civic.

The GQ3 will be the first of a broader model lineup that will later include larger family cars. Along with a host of hi-tech safety features, the GQ3 seems like it may be one of the few Chinese-built cars that may have a realistic future outside of its native country.
Globes adds:
Israel Corp. has set up a company to manufacture mainstream gasoline cars and become "more European than Europe." While Israel Corp's partners are Chinese, car manufacturer Chery, and the factory is located in the Yangtze delta, but to all intents and purposes this is a standard development project that could have been implemented by Volkswagen or Hyundai. The engineers, designers, and even media strategists were hired in Europe. A large part of the basic engineering planning of the car was put in the hands of Austrian company Magna Steyr - an independent systems contractor for the European car industry. The gearbox and navigation systems and many other car components were purchased from known international manufacturers, and the car was planned to meet the most stringent European collision and emission standards and so on. Major effort was even put into the car's interior and exterior design to meet European consumer preferences with an unconcealed likeness to the Volkswagen Jetta.

The highly effective campaign to unveil Qoros is focused on Western Europe and especially the German market, which is a rock on which many previous Chinese cars have floundered.