Israel, China Team Up For New Auto Brand


israel-china-chery-automobileChinese automaker Chery Automobile Co. and Israeli holding company Israel Corporation have announced their intent to launch a new automotive brand which will focus on the Western European and Chinese domestic markets.

According to a statement released by Qoros Automotive Co., the name given to the joint effort between the two firms, Qoros plans to introduce a new compact sedan in Western Europe and China in 2013, initially producing 150,000 of the new vehicles which will be sold through an independent retail network.

They hope to eventually double production to 300,000 of the new car.

Originally, the plan was for Chery, one of China’s biggest independent automakers, to contribute “in kind” as in many joint ventures, providing, for example, land or workers. But that vision has evolved to one of starting from scratch, said Volker Steinwascher, vice chairman of Qoros.

The launch of Qoros, renamed from Chery Quantum Auto, comes as slow automobile sales, combined with an increase in competition, plagues China.

The “talent”, which includes BMW Mini designer Gert Hildebrand, is looking to create unique and distinctive international designs.

Just last month, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers reduced its full-year forecast for domestic auto sales growth to no more than 3% this year, compared with its previous forecast of a 5% rise, which in turn was a reduction from an initial estimate of 10%-15% growth.

The two corporations have invested $500 million in Qoros since it was founded in 2007.

{AP/Ynet/ Newscenter}