Mon Oct 24 09:20:42 SAST 2016
Limpopo premier Stan Mathabatha with Zweli Mkhize and Thoko Didiza
ANC leadership begins candidate review

The African National Congress is starting its “dispute resolution process” in a bid to address the a.

China's Chery is on its way

By unknown | Mar 26, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mabuyane Kekana

Mabuyane Kekana

It is one thing when a company like McCarthy invites you to accompany its executives to Germany, but it is a totally different story when they take you with them to China.

With so many negative perceptions doing the rounds about that country, I was worried about what I would eat in China.

But the China we see on CNN and what we read in Western newspapers is what the West wants us to believe.

When I returned home last week, I understood the true meaning of hard work.

Chinese car manufacturer Chery and McCarthy Motor Holdings have been meeting over the last couple of years and this has resulted in the Chinese car maker coming to South Africa.

The 10-year-old Chery is China's third most popular carin that country after Volkswagen and GM Shanghai.

The Chery plant is situated in the small town of Huwu in Anhui province. The state-owned company was formed in 1997.

By 2001, about 10000 Chery vehicles were dispatched out of its production line.

Chery says its aim is to provide quality and affordable cars to South Africans and the company is confident that our market will accept its vehicles.

Chery will officially launch in South Africa in May. It has three products lined up for the launch.

They are the QQ (entry level), the J5 (C-segment) and the Tiggo (small SUV).

When asked about prices, the Chinese said it was too early to say, but they were confident that their prices would be competitive.

Chery Automobile Company (CAC) plans to manufacture one million vehicles by 2010, with 50percent earmarked for export. This is according to Tony Sun, Chery's assistant president and general manager for the Asia-Pacific and South Africa region.

Compared to the performance of the global car giant Ford, the American company achieved its first million production mark after seven years (1908-1915), and it required the combined efforts of production plants in the US, Canada and the UK. Chery has only one main plant in China and a limited number of relatively low-volume completely knockdown assemblers.

Zhou Biren, Chery's vice president, is confident of meeting the challenging production and sales targets that are very much part of the amazing and highly visible economical renaissance taking place in China today.

Chery, which is already the highest ranked Chinese brand in its domestic market in terms of sales, and third overall vehicle brand after Volkswagen and General Motors, aims to build about 500000 units this year, with 200000 of them slated for export markets.

The spotless-factory buildings are populated by blue-uniformed workers. There are comparatively few workers and they use modern production equipment, some of which is imported from European countries.

The state-of-the art paint facility, supplied by DURR, the German automotive painting specialists, was one of only five similar systems in the world when it was installed in the Chery plant in 2004. It remains one of the most modern paint facilities in the world.

Chery also achieved "higher-than-average standards" during an unannounced audit from the State Bureau of Technical Supervision of China after its representatives had conducted detailed quality inspections at the production plants.

The workforce of about 25000 is made up of more than 5000 engineers and about 20000 other employees, with an average age of only 22. Many of these workers are women.

About 3000 of the engineers are involved in product research and development, with 60 of them having doctorates.

Several of the engineers have many years of experience working for other automotive companies both inside and outside China. There are currently 300000 engineers graduating in the country every year.

Chery is striving to be a stand-alone automotive company, in contrast to most of the other Chinese motor manufacturers who have strong links with vehicle manufacturers from outside China and who build products under licence.

All we can do now is to wait patiently for Chery to come and show us in May what their cars are like.


Login OR Join up TO COMMENT