China's EV Wars Heat Up: Chery Launches New Brand To Battle Tesla And Huawei

Chery Auto, a prominent Chinese car manufacturer, is gearing up to launch a new electric vehicle (EV) brand in the third quarter of 2024. This move is aimed at driving growth in the face of intensifying competition and a slowdown in demand within the world’s largest auto market.

What Happened: Chery Auto is set to introduce its new EV brand, Yueji, later this year. The first model under this brand will be a plug-in hybrid SUV, equipped with AI technology from domestic firm iFlyTek, reported TechNode.

Chery Auto, a state-owned automaker and a partner of Jaguar Land Rover in China, had earlier unveiled its first iCar model, the iCar 03 crossover, in February. The vehicle boasts a driving range of 401 kilometers (249 miles) and a starting price of RMB 109,800 ($15,177).

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The company, which sold nearly 1.9 million vehicles in 2023, a 52% increase from the previous year, is optimistic about its future growth. Chery Auto anticipates an annual growth rate that is 10%-20% higher than the industry average for this year.

Why It Matters: This move by Chery Auto comes at a time when the Chinese EV market is experiencing a surge in competition. Huawei Technologies recently began deliveries of its Luxeed S7 electric sedan, developed in collaboration with Chery Auto, positioning itself as a competitor to Tesla in various aspects.

Meanwhile, Tesla‘s Q1 deliveries faced a decline, impacting its stock performance. However, the American EV giant still managed to reclaim its top spot from Chinese rivals.

Furthermore, other global automakers are also making significant moves in the EV space. For instance, General Motors reported a nearly 21% drop in EV sales for the first quarter of 2024, partly due to the discontinuation of its best-selling electric model. On the other hand, Hyundai Motor announced a significant investment to boost its EV production.

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Photo via Shutterstock

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