03 November 2008

Chery Automobile, The Car Company

This is a Chinese firm founded in 1997 to make cars in Wuhu. It was supposed to be called Cheery but a mistake in translation led it to this name without meaning, and it has been retained.
At first it used machinery and engines purchased from Ford and a chassis from SEAT, Spain. Since then, to make progress in the car industry quickly, they have worked with Bertone, AVL, Bosch, Lotus Engineering and Ricardo Consulting.

They are opening plants and doing joint venture deals in various emerging markets at a hectic pace. 307,000 cars were made in China in 2006 and 388,000 in 2007. 40,000 were also made in Russia in ‘07.

They have plagiarized GM designs, which GM has sued unsuccessfully in Chinese courts. Intellectual property rights mean nothing there and court rulings said no copying took place. Well look at the two cars on the right and tell me if you see if there is any difference. Anyway, to maintain good will with the government, GM dropped the case as long as they are not exported to western markets. Well I'm not worried about good will, so will call it as it is.

The cars also have a dubious crash safety record. A picture says a thousand words and the photo on the left gives a clear impression on that one..... The last two points raised would make me shy away from ever buying a product from an outfit such as Chery.

Selling copies of cars you haven’t paid the rights for, and failing to respect your customer’s safety is morally bankrupt. A strong sentiment, but what other conclusion could one reach? I would not buy one, not even with a cherry on top. They look fine as you can see below, but looks can be deceptive.

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