Chinese OEM Chery Automobile will launch its EV model Exceed on the European market no sooner than 2020.
Speaking to German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Chery chief executive officer Chen Anning also announced the planned construction of a development centre close to Frankfurt, and that the vehicle is likely to be first introduced to Germany before other European markets.
Chery already maintains a presence in the European market. The Qoros 3 (pictured above) is built by the manufacturer with 50-50 ownership between Chery Automobile and Kenon Holdings, and was released simultaneously in China and Slovakia in 2013.
In 2012 Chery entered into a joint venture with JLR (Jaguar Land Rover). The deal saw production of JLR cars in mainland China through and is based from the city of Changshu.
The current international sales by state-owned Chery is around 25% of its total, and Anning also spoke of the companies intention to expand this to one third.
The electric SUV can be seen as a combination of positive sales trends in the European market. Economic growth across the EU pushed car sales to a 10-year high last year, with growing consumer demand for SUVs more than compensating for negativity around diesel vehicles.
While consumers started to move away from diesel cars, overall sales grew on the back of strong results of the SUV segment. According to Felipe Munoz, global automotive analyst at market intelligence firm Jato, one of the most important factors in this trend was VW Group’s increased focus on SUVs, after a number of years when its commitment to that market was less than robust.
The entering of an EV into the European market by Chery is part of an overall drive towards electric vehicles worldwide. Dyson is to make a £200m investment into a test track for research into its own electric vehicle.