We’re in 2011, and the most recent car manufacturer is a company from China called Chery Automobile Co Ltd (Chery). The name’s probably supposed to be halfway between “cheery” and “cherry”, both of which are nice, friendly names. Chery became a state owned enterprise in 1997 by five of Anhui's local state owned investment companies. Chery’s vision is to help make the Chinese auto industry to rank among the world leading automakers.
On March 18th, 1997 in Wuhu, construction of a car manufacturing plant commenced. Wuhu is in the Anhui province of China, and on December 18th, 1999, the first car came off the production line. In well under a decade, Chery produced its one millionth car on August 22nd, 2007. Though many cars were sold to the local market, results of export sales showed an annual export volume of 119,800 units in 2007, and showed how Chery was a dominant Chinese car brand that was having appeal on the global market. Chery’s first export sale was to Syria in 2001.
Early models fared poorly in safety tests; however, the 2009 Chery A3 received a five-star safety rating in C-NCAP, the Chinese new car safety tests. This was the first model created in China to achieve such a high-test rating, and the success has been helped by Chery’s vision of seeking to “strive for world leading technologies”.
Currently, Chery possesses a full set of Research and Development units, as well as a complementing set of production units. A high goal of Chery is to create quality products that are without defect. In October, 2002, Chery took the initiative in obtaining ISO/TS16949 Quality Management System Certification from Germany TUV. This commitment to quality control has seen Chery make all their models conform to Chinese national and international standards.
In November 2006, Chery was honoured as the 11th most favourable Chinese company by Fortune Magazine – becoming the only Chinese car manufacturer ranking in the top 25 list. Chery was selected among the top 20 most globally competitive Chinese companies in June 2007 and among the top 100 most competitive enterprises of the developing countries in December of the same year. According to the statistics of the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d'Automobiles,OICA), Chery ranked 27th in the world auto industry.
On the up, Chery is continuing to make successful inroads into the big global markets with products that are affordable to the masses and are technologically well advanced. Already, we’re seeing some Chery vehicles coming through the car dealers in Sydney and Melbourne, as well as a few other places in Australia. Will they cotton on and be as popular here as they have been in other parts of the world? Watch this space.
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