Chinese carmaker Chery is making its return to the Malaysian market, and along with its push to make Malaysia its right-hand-drive and ASEAN regional base, it plans to locally assemble fully electric and plug-in hybrid models in the country by 2024, the carmaker has revealed.
A host of SUVs from Chery has been earmarked for launch in Malaysia, consisting of the Omoda 5, along with the Tiggo 4 Pro, Tiggo 7 Pro and Tiggo 8 Pro SUVs. These will be locally assembled, and be developed in RHD guise from the outset.
With plans for Chery to make Malaysia its regional base, the fully electric and plug-in hybrid models set for local assembly could likely be the Omoda 5 EV, which has been tipped to offer a WLTP-rated range of 450 km from its 64 kWh battery, powering a 204 PS/400 Nm electric motor. Fast charging from 0-80% state of charge is possible in a claimed 40 minutes.
In terms of plug-in hybrid models, a likely starter will be the Tiggo 8 Pro PHEV that was previewed in Malaysia, with the brand’s flagship seven-seater SUV shown at the Chery Malaysia preview event in October.
Shown in regular internal combustion and plug-in hybrid powertrain guises, the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro in PHEV guise features a1.5 litre turbo engine with a dedicated hybrid transmission (DHT) and dual motors for 241 hp and 510 Nm of torque. This will enables a claimed 0-100 km/h time of 8.2 seconds, and a pure EV range of up to 80 km.
Of the internal combustion engine options, the Tiggo 8 Pro seven-seater was also previewed in Malaysia with a 2.0 litre turbo petrol four-cylinder producing 254 hp and 390 Nm of torque, paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Also available in other markets is a 194 hp/290 Nm 1.6 litre turbo petrol, which also powers the Omoda 5.
As part of the brand’s relaunch in mid-2023, Chery will establish more than 30 outlets across the country, and the aforementioned setting up of its ASEAN regional base for research and development in Malaysia will be part of its initial RM170 million investment plan.
Chery selected Malaysia over Thailand as its regional base for our market’s high acceptance of Chinese car brands, through the Proton-Geely partnership and as demonstrated by the success of the Proton X70 and X50 that resulted.
In addition to the carmaker’s preference due to the market’s inclination, Chery also chose Malaysia to be its regional headquarters for the relatively high purchasing power of its customer base, added to which are the incentives from the government that welcomes new investments from foreign companies.