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Another bite of the Chery

Chinese brand Chery to return to Australia with Omoda 5 NEV

31 May 2022

CHERY Automobile will make its return to the Australian market this year when the Chinese manufacturer launches its Omoda 5 NEV (new energy vehicle).


According to a press release published this week, Chery Automobile says it is a company which is “highly advanced in new energy technologies” and is “preparing to bring its safe and high-quality new models to the Australian market”.


The Wuhu-based brand will launch initially with its new Omoda 5 crossover, a model it describes as being equipped with an “innovative dual motor drive” and “direct hybrid transmission” that is operable in nine high-efficiency modes.


According to Chery, the Omoda 5’s transmission offers “11 gear combinations” while the vehicle’s control system is able to “calculate in real time the most suitable working gear”.


Chery Automobile’s compact SUV features the brand’s Art in Motion design language and is available in selected markets with a choice of (115kW/230Nm) 1.5-litre and (146kW/290Nm) 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol and 48-volt electric hybrid drivelines.


Electric motors available to Chery offer outputs of 55kW/160Nm and 70kW/155Nm.


The brand’s local press release was unclear on which petrol unit will accompany the dual electric motor and direct hybrid transmission combination locally.


It also remains unclear as to whom will distribute the Chery Automobile brand Down Under. The brand was previously managed by the Ateco Group in the four years to 2015. However, it is understood that Chery Automobile will return as its own entity, importing vehicles to Australia directly.


“As Chery's top heavyweight model, Omoda 5, combined with the excellent quality and assured safety performance of Chery cars, this premier car will absolutely meet the expectation of Australian consumers on quality and safety as well as style and fun,” the brand said in a statement.


The Chery Omoda 5 rivals contemporaries including the Haval Jolion and MG ZS in terms of size, measuring 4400mm in length, 1830mm in width and 1585mm in height. It rides on a 2630mm wheelbase.


It means the Omoda 5 measure 72mm longer, 11mm narrower and 11mm taller than the Jolion (and with a 70mm shorter wheelbase) and 86mm longer, 21mm wider and 59mm shorter than the ZS (but with a 45mm longer wheelbase).


In its home market, the Omoda 5 is priced from ¥110,000 to ¥150,000 ($A23,015 to $A31,385).


Chery Automobile says it has been developing its NEV drivelines since 1999 and that it now boasts its own top quality and reliable supplier system.


Its battery cells are sourced from CATL and “other top battery suppliers in the world” with electric motors from Yasakawa Electric in Japan, a stability control system sourced from Bosch (ESP 9.3) and “the most advanced quad core CPUs in the industry, sourced from the same supplier as Jaguar Land Rover”.


Indeed, Chery Automobile’s ties to JLR are considerable. The company’s R&D team comprises former Jaguar Land Rover engineers including Peter Matkini and Huang Yong, as well as ex-GM engineers Raaymond Charles Bierzynski and Valdir Cavinatti.


The Chery development division features engineers from seven nations who have formerly worked for manufacturers including BMW, Ford, GM, Hyundai, JLR, Mazda, Opel, PSA and SAAB.


Early this month, Chery Automobile said in a statement that it “puts its products through tests according to local climates, temperature changes, road conditions and consumer needs … when it plans to enter an overseas market”.


Chery Automobile uses its own safety laboratories in ensuring the crash worthiness of its models and that models including the Omoda 5 “meet or exceed the laws and regulations of China, Europe, America and the NCAP requirements of all countries”.

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