Chinese brand Chery Auto has opened its first facility in Europe, with a design and development centre near Frankfurt now hiring its first staff ahead of the manufacturer's intended market launch after 2020.
Between 30 and 50 people will be hired at the centre by the end of next year, as the brand gears up to sell its products in Europe. Tongyue Yin, Chery chairman, said: "At last year's Frankfurt motor show, we presented ourselves as a brand. Now we're going to execute our plans in and for Europe.”
“We will, therefore, be launching models from our high-end brand Exeed. They will be competitive with the leading European manufacturers in terms of quality, design and technology.”
The brand’s TX SUV is expected to be its first offering in Europe, although it’ll likely be a newer iteration than the brand showcased at Frankfurt last year. That car was suggested for launch in petrol-electric hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure-electric forms, with the plug-in hybrids being the quickest, capable of hitting 62mph (100kph) from a standstill in 6.0sec.
Rather than simply relocating a team from China to staff the European facility, Chery aims to hire a team of European automotive experts at its Raunheim facility, with some hires likely to come from European brands. The focuses of the centre will be design and development, as well as sales and marketing.
The Exeed sub-brand has tipped its first European model to be a pure-electric vehicle, rather than a hybrid or internal combustion-engined model. Exeed is tipped only to have electrified models, so a traditional car powered solely by a petrol or diesel engine will not happen. The production car will join a growing number of all-electric SUVs on the market, with competition from Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW and Tesla in the segment.