CHINESE car maker Chery comes back to the Philippines under a new company, Chery Auto Philippines, Inc. This is the brand’s second attempt in the market. It’s initial entry, in 2007 was a failure due to bad products and poor servicing. A resurrection of that attempt in 2009 introduced new models, helped improve after sales concerns and cleared out inventory.
However, lack of financial capabilities, high prices due to import duties and the lack of direct support from principals reduced the brand to dealer franchises by the end of 2016.
By 2017 even these self-supporting dealer franchises could no longer operate.
This latest comeback is already being seen as a gamechanger because the group that leads Foton Philippines as distributor and manufacturer, the United Asia Auto Group Inc. (UAAGI), will be managing the brand under a new company, Chery Auto Philippines.
“Now is the time for us to bring in a second automotive brand with a stronger Chery Auto line up that has the right mix of design, features, technology. Working with our group will now be the biggest difference about the brand. It is now the best time for Chery to establish itself again because we are ready with many new dealers who will invest and set-up dealerships by early to mid 2020,” Rommel Sytin, UAAGI president said in an interview following the launch of four new crossover vehicles.
The lineup of Chery models that will mark the initial reentry is composed of an all-crossover range. These are the Tiggo 2, Tiggo 5X, Tiggo 7, and the 7-seater Tiggo 8. All models are powered by modern 1.5-liter inline- 4 fuel-injected DOHC 16-valve Euro 5-compliant petrol engines with turbocharging for the larger Tiggo 7 and Tiggo 8 models. Both 5-speed manual transmissions or 6-speed automatics will be available.
As proof of its confidence, the brand will offer an unprecedented and industry-leading 10 years or 1 million kilometers powertrain warranty on top of a 5-year General Vehicle Warranty. Chery Auto Philippines is offering a 3-year free Preventive Maintenance Service (PMS) to all buyers of its vehicles.
“I believe the conditions are right for the re-establishment of Chery in the Philippines. The vehicles are very good, and the current pricing of its product line will make a strong impact on the Philippine market,” Vince Licup, one of Chery Auto Philippines first dealers at this comeback stage told Malaya Business Insight.
“History and experience are the best teachers, and we have learned a lot from Foton’s success in the Philippine market as well as where previous efforts to market Chery have failed—and we have taken all that to heart,” Sytin shared.
When ask if the new Chery will service over thousands units of cars previously sold in the country, Sytin said “they will find a way, as long as parts are still available and training conducted.” He also explained that currently Foton dealers mostly formed the initial Chery dealer network, but he expects new ones will come. He also said that for now, the crossovers are a strong and growing market segment.
“We are excited to bring in Chery. The new cars possess all the brand values Filipinos now look for and we are convinced that the local market will warmly receive these latest models,” Sytin added.
Since it started production nearly 20 years ago, Chery has sold over 7.2 million vehicles in over 80 countries. It is also a leading manufacturer of hybrid and full electric vehicles, not just in China, but in the world. Last year it sold 750,000 units, an 11 percent growth compared to the previous year.
Prices for the new models are P695K for the Tiggo 2, P818K for the Tiggo 5X, P1.195M for the Tiggo 7, and P1.280M for the seven-seater Tiggo 8. The Chery dealership and service network will be announced soon.