A Dialogue With Chery Leadership: Here’s 5 Things We Learnt

The future of Chery in Malaysia looks to be rather bright, with new models and bold new ambitions to come. 

A few weeks ago now, Chery held its 2024 Chery International Business Conference event at its global headquarters in Wuhu, China. And what lies below here are 5 main things that were learnt from the various press conferences that took place between the head honchos of this Chinese automaker with the Malaysian media, mainly regarding the current and future plans for the marque over here. 

Editor’s note: Now of course like any other corporate press conference, there was admittedly some (read: quite a lot of) vagaries involved. Some further work has therefore been done here to piece together the bits and pieces from the Chinese head honchos at Chery with further clarification provided by the local office, in order to ensure that the information here is as accurate as it can be. 

1. Chery’s Current Product Strategy

For those who are unaware now, Chery currently has three sub-brands under its international distribution umbrella: Tiggo, Omoda and Jaecoo. To make things that little bit more confusing too, the Chinese automaker currently distributes the latter two as a pairing in global markets (referred internally as OJ), while Malaysia is the outlier by having the former two joined up instead. 

In any case, what the head honchos at Chery has since made clear is the class differentiation between its three sub-brands (which incidentally all sell roughly the same types of car).  

The Tiggo sub-brand is currently set as the entry point for Chery marque (and most prominently sold as one). The primary target audience for this branch are currently families. Affordability has been touted as the key pillar for Tiggo, with its models’ mantra being for it to be ‘not the most special looking but still meeting the needs of the people’. 

The Omoda and Jaecoo sub-brands meanwhile are pitched as being slightly more premium and higher end than the Tiggo, with the latter being the most atas (but only by 5% or so) over Omoda, which is in turn to be a slight step up over Tiggo. The target market for Omoda and Jaecoo are currently to be the more fashionable sect, with Chery aiming for buyers to these sub-brands being ‘avant-garde’ and ‘multi-faceted’. 

2. Chery’s Aftersales Ambitions 

During the formal press conference with the bigger bosses from Chery, another major point that the automaker has consistently emphasised was also its intent on putting aftersales as its first priority. And among the more ambitious claims to back up this admittedly admirable statement was for the Chinese marque to promise in maintaining a 10-year factory-backed supply of spare parts for Malaysia, after a model has been discontinued.  

Moreover, Chery Malaysia has also provided its 3 key points of gauging its own aftersales performance: the availability of spare parts to its customers, the current stock buffer each of its dealers have and the maintenance ability of its dealers, based upon a customer satisfaction index. 

3. Chery’s Future Malaysian Product Lineup

Now for those interested in learning what Chery is currently considering for potential models on a global scale, there is a separate story (linked here) that reports on what the Chinese automaker is cooking up for the years ahead. This of course includes the rather intriguing potential of a possible entry into the pickup segment, in addition to a couple more SUVs that further plug any remaining gaps within the various lineups of its sub-brands.  

As for what it has planned for the Malaysian market meanwhile, Chery has stated that it has plans to introduce more models for its Tiggo range locally. The Chinese automaker further clarified that this rollout will be a progressive one throughout the years, with the Tiggo 4 Pro earmarked as the next imminent arrival after the soon-to-launch Tiggo 7 Pro.

Chery Malaysia has also teased for PHEV variants of the Tiggo 7 and 8 Pros to potentially arrive sometime next year, with the current projection too being for the recently revealed Tiggo 9 Pro to likely slot in as the new local flagship for the marque within the following year or two as well. 

Looking towards the Omoda side of Chery’s current local lineup now, there is to thus far be no plans for other Omodas apart from 5 for now. Such is as there are to be faint whispers for this particular branch to be spun off into its own thing (as is currently the case everywhere else in the world where Omoda is conjoined with Jaecoo), with any new launches likely set to take place only once this split is performed. 

And for those asking about the Arrizo 8, there are conflicting stories on the probability of its potential arrival. What is nevertheless clear is for Chery to put at least some stock in its customer surveys to determine which model it plans to bring in, so start participating if a sleek sedan is something that might be on one’s wishlist. 

4. Chery’s Production Future In Malaysia

Another key point that was hammered home at the aforementioned press conference is for Chery to (at least aim to) stay in Malaysia for a very, very long time, with them perhaps even having the confidence for it to become an indefinite presence in the local automotive scene from here on out. 

Now a major cornerstone in that projected confidence has come from Chery confirming that it has since kickstarted the process of developing its very own Malaysian production hub in Shah Alam, to compliment its existing Inokom facility in Kulim that currently locally-assembles the Tiggo 8 Pro and Omoda 5. This new site is currently projected to kickstart operations sometime next year, but it currently remains to be seen as to what exactly will be rolling out of there. 

It is however likely though for whatever that is churned out at Shah Alam in the future will likely be at least partly developed over there too, as Chery has also since announced that this new site will play home to its R&D hub for the ASEAN regional market. The head honchos at the Chinese automaker has further made allusions to potential future plans of a Chery that is to be made specifically for the ASEAN market, with the rather exciting prospect of this future model to conceivably be designed right here in Malaysia. 

5. Odds and Ends

In rounding up the major points that have been shared, Chery has rather proudly announced too that it is currently growing faster than they thought, with Turkey being its fastest growing market at the moment. 

The Chinese automaker further proclaims that it has sold 1.881 million cars worldwide in 2023, with it aiming to pump these numbers up even more going forward, in its goal of eventually becoming one of the world’s top 10 global automotive brands. 

One final interesting tid-bit was for Chery to currently be investing 100 billion rmb (RM 65 billion) over next 5 years for new energy development plans. There is however no plans for anything hydrogen-related right now for passenger cars at least, though the automaker does admit for it to see potential in the commercial sector. 

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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