Qoros’s – The Difficult Sell

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Qoros launches in the next few months at the Geneva Motor Show, for those that are not in the know, Qoros is the latest and greatest automotive brand. Qoros is a joint venture between Chery and Israeli Corp, the plan is to create a Chinese brand capable of taking over the world. On one hand you have Israeli venture capital and on the other hand you have Chery’s capable and very scalable Chinese production lines, on paper it seems like a potent mix.

Qoros product placement – if you believe press releases – is to be placed as a mid-range brand capable of producing cars to Buick, Volvo and VW levels. This is entirely possible if you staff your company with the pick of the crop of the auto industry, which Qoros has of course done. Top management at Qoros are household names in the auto industry, the Vice Chairman is from VW America, the head of design created the MINI, the vehicle engineering director spent the majority of his career making BMW’s chassis into the Ultimate Driving Machines, the rest of the team have equally impressive credentials and more than a couple have PHD behind their names.

They are not limiting themselves to China either, Qoros plans to be an international brand with a joint sales launch in Europe and China. The first product is set to be a compact sedan at the same size as a Volkswagen Jetta (Sagitar in China), we will see this in Geneva along with two concepts that will include a hatchback and a wagon. Qoros are promising world class standards, world class safety levels that will include internet connectivity, as well as a VW style modular platform that can be expanded or shrunk to different sizes.

The European market will be a difficult one to crack in the next few years, the EU region is in the midst of an ongoing financial crisis, with the biggest EU markets such as Germany, France, Spain and Italy seeing substantial declines in auto sales over the course of 2012, only the UK bucked the trend and saw actual growth reaching two million cars in 2012. Will Qoros, as a mid-range brand, which will be heavily perceived as a Chinese brand, be able to crack the EU market? The Chinese market is equally tough, the first GQ3 sedan from Qoros will have some tough competition in the compact segment, the Fiat Viaggio, Citroen C4L and of course Buick and VW models are highly popular models from very well known international brands.

Where else could Qoros sell? The Middle East has always been a hot market for Chinese brands, Lifan, Chery, Great Wall are racking up major sales in Iraq, Iran, Syria, and across North Africa countries such as Egypt, Libya and Algeria. ‘Israeli cars’ probably won’t be selling overly well in these countries, where even the slightest changes in wind direction are blamed on Mossad’s meddling. South America has been a huge market for Chinese cars, Qoros could easily slip itself into that market but with increased export tariffs on imported Chinese cars, Qoros vehicles will be relatively expensive when compared to other Chinese brands such as JAC and Chery, both of whom have set up production plants in the South American market.

We want to see a Chinese brand actively take on the European market, to date MG have tried but haven’t managed to make much of an impact in the UK, Great Wall have entered the market with a unique selling point (cheap, semi disposable trucks), Chery seem to doing okay in Eastern Europe and Geely have made noise about launching in the UK. Will Qoros be the brand to do it?

About the author  ⁄ Ash

Ash came to China at 18 and never looked back, a decade later he is still here. After a 4 year stint in a Chinese University where he gained a double BA in Chinese and International Trade he worked for a myriad of different companies in the Chinese Auto industry before heading back to school to get an MBA with a focus in marketing.

2 Comments

  • Taylor
    January 24, 2013

    Qoros will sell like hot cakes, trust me.

  • idlebrain
    January 29, 2013

    selling like hot cakes? yeah, in your dream….

    Don’t get me wrong I don’t have any feeling against Chinese cars. No matter what country it’s from they’ll have to prove themselves before it ‘s being sold like a hot cake.

    I also disagree that EU market will be harder to conquer because of it’s economic condition. If economic is good, people will go for more expensive car rather than economic one. If Qoros can offer a decent car with a decent value, it will attract more people who are plan to cut their expense due to the bad economic.

    Just look at Hyundai/kia who made a record sales in Europe last year while its market itself was shrinking.

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