Chery Returns: Backed By UAAGI

“We will have to give impressive products to erase the old memories of Chery in the Philippines,” said Zhang Guibing, President of Chery International.


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Chery UAAGI

There is something to be said for not giving up. Many a wars and dozens of freedom and independent states have seen success because they keep on trying. And it seems that the most hated Chinese car brand that ever entered the Philippines is going to give it another go.For the fourth time, Chery Motors of China is going to try and make a comeback in the Philippines, but this time they are partnered with the most successful company to carry a Chinese motor vehicle badge locally, the United Asia Automotive Group Inc. (UAAGI).

UAAGI is the company behind Foton, the first Chinese brand to flourish in the Philippines. Its President, Rommel Sytin, just signed a distributorship deal today, October 15, 2019, here in Wuhu, China, with the President of Chery International, Mr. Zhang Guibing.

What that means, is that we will be seeing Chery vehicles in Manila again. It also means Chery will have the vast resources Sytin has developed in the last two decades at its disposal.

Will this be the charm Chery International has been looking for in the Philippines?

Sytin told us Chery has been looking for a partner in the Philippines for quite some time now and have been talking to a few and rejecting quite a lot of prospective associates until they approached him.

The young entrepreneur decided to check out Chery personally and went to Wuhu first to see what he might be getting into. Apprently he was impressed because returning home he began the paper work to seal a deal with Chery.

“This is a full partnership this time. Complete with service and parts support and an impressive line up of vehicles,” Sytin told us.

chery

And it is indeed. We were brought to the testing ground of Chery here in Wuhu and tried out some of their products and truth to tell, we found them up to par with global standards.

In recent years, China has upped their game in the automotive industry, some of them buying off premium European brands to get access to their technology and design. Chery is one of them, grabbing engineers and designers from big western companies the likes of BMW.

While we cannot tell what models UAAGI will bring in under the Chery tree, with Sytin telling us he will concentrate on the crossover/SUV variants first, we did drive some of the new Chery cars and they are far improved from the old ones.

The QQ will not be seen at all. In fact they may actually discard the Q line altogether said a Chery executive.

But we tried the Tiggo, the Exeed, and the Arrizo at their testing grounds and they were impressive. The designs are contemporary, a few actually looked like better versions of some European and Japanese brands. Interior space and feel is remarkable with the construct very plush and cozy.

And the technology is something to look forward to. It seems the Chinese car companies has already done to the Europeans what the Japanese did to the Americans in the 70’s, innovated the tech and raised the bar some notches higher.

Anyway, for now, what models Chery will introduce in November is as good a guess as yours and mine. But we can say this, the Tiggo looks very promising since it possesses all the features locals look for in a crossover, and the Exeed too looks very attractive and techy.

But UAAGI will have an uphill battle and Chery will need to really prove itself this time. “We will have to give impressive products to erase the old memories of Chery in the Philippines,” said Zhang Guibing. “We already have the technology and design and even people we hired from the other premium brands, so you can expect a first-rate set of models,” he adds.

“Selling cars is not really rocket science,” Sytin quipped. “The real secret is the product and sales and after sales service which should satisfy the customer. If we can have all of this, I think we can make Chery a winner,”he said.

It is true that the Filipinos are a forgiving culture, and many a failure have risen to success here by using what Sytin said.

Now, would you try the Chery again this time?


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Ira Panganiban
The author is a certified motorhead and has been a journalist for the past 30 years. He will be a journalist all his life. He thinks he is famous and his mother agrees. His father has another opinion on that matter. Email him at irapanganiban@wheelsph.com

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