Chery’s return to the Malaysian market, first indicated last December and reiterated in May and earlier again this month, continues to inch along – the company’s Malaysian website is now live, and lists models expected for our market, in this case the Tiggo 4 Pro, Tiggo 7 Pro and Tiggo 8 Pro as well as the Omoda 5 EV.
The line-up contains no surprises, as they have already been indicated as heading our way when the relaunch takes place. While there is still no timeline for the brand’s official debut here, some demo units are heading to Malaysia, slated to arrive sometime in September. These, the company said, are being brought in for viewing and evaluation purposes, and are to be showcased in a series of closed-door previews.
In a video call last month, Shawn Xu, vice-president of Chery International, revealed that the demo cars will consist of the Tiggo 7, Tiggo 8 and Omoda 5, as well as PHEV examples. Meant to offer a closer look at what the market can expect, we understand that they are likely to be a mix of right-hand and left-hand drive examples.
It’s looking likely that the brand’s market return won’t be this year, as originally intended, but in 2023.
“Regarding the timeline, right now we have the Tiggo 4, 7, 8 and Omoda 5, with two new models coming next year,” Xu said, providing the indication that all the action is set to happen next year.
Regarding CKD local assembly plans, which has also been mentioned as being in the pipeline, Xu said that discussions were stil ongoing. Last year, it was said that the company was in discussions with a potential joint venture partner to set up CKD operations, and so we asked if there had been any progress on that front.
“We have several options on the table for the Malaysian market. Regarding our local partner in Malaysia, we have been in discussions for a while and hope to speed up the process to get a conclusion and finalise things soon,” he said.
It remains to be seen how large the CKD operations will be here. That is, should it happen. Xu said that Chery was deliberating on whether it wants to establish a centralised hub for its RHD manufacturing in the region, or separate and establish factories in different countries for that purpose. It has already found a partner in Indonesia to produce and sell its cars there. “We can also consider using Indonesia to export to other RHD countries – it’s also an option,” he said.
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