Qoros launched with one production and two concept cars. The brand is really an experiment to see if cars can be produced that will suit the Chinese market.
Firstly, the Chinese do not like Diesels, those much loved by leasing companies, but do love European cars, so design and technical here will be targeted at just those parameters.
The designer, one Gerd Volker Hilderbrand, who has spent the last ten years working at BMW and headed up the design team of the Mini. He has also designed the logo for the new company.
Qoros have headhunted other experienced people as well, including Volker Steinwascher who used to head VW in North America, he is the new vice president. The launch ready car is the Qoros 3, a Golf sized unit that is due to go on sale in October. Following this, the concept cars give an insight into what’s to come as they aim to launch two cars a year.
VW have lead the way in the use of modular platforms and Qoros will be no different, with the first three vehicles being based on the same base. Qoros intend including great spec with their cars, something that is expected in China unless a car is obviously a cheap car.
But who are Qoros?
Chery Automotive, a Chinese car manufacturer who build 500,000 cars a year and the investor Israel Corporation. They have existed since 2007 and have strategically planned the vehicle and company layout for six years.
The blend of the two companies gives access to huge markets. Being built in China with Chinese shareholding by the government will take away the quotas otherwise imposed on manufacturers from outside China. The European design and technology means the European and US markets can be supplied to without changing the model, maybe just engines. But initially, production will be nowhere near large enough to satisfy China, let alone Europe.
What this points at is a new way forward and something that all our manufacturers are going to have to react to. MG are already Chinese owned and I personally have visited their massively impressive production facility on the old Rover site.