Alado Corp Sdn Bhd will be launching 3 new Chery models over the next few months beginning with the Chery QQ, due to be launched this month. The Chery QQ, a little town run-about with an 800cc engine has been the subject of controversy, with claims of it being a blatant copy of Daewoo’s Matiz. The Daewoo Matiz is sold here by Hicomobil as the Chevrolet Spark.
The rip-off is so bad that a General Motors (which owns Daewoo and Chevrolet) spokesperson said, â€œIf you didnt have the name tags on the car, you couldnt tell them apart. Its such a knockoff that you can pull a door off of the Chevy Spark and it fits on the QQ – and it fits so well that the seals on the door hold.â€œ
Hicomobil ran an ad campaign when the Spark was first introduced trying to inform Malaysian consumers of the carbon copy situation between the Spark and the QQ. It went along the lines of “This is the real Chevrolet Spark” or something like that, I can’t really recall exactly how it went. The campaign ran alongside a promotion with KFC where you could win a Chevrolet Spark in a competition.
Left: Chevrolet Spark. Right: Chery QQ.
The Chevrolet Spark retails for RM46,588 here in Malaysia. The CBU vehicles comes with a 800cc engine as well, mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. Alado Corp Sdn Bhd plans to price it’s 800cc Chery QQ at about the RM40,000 level, undercutting the original Spark by about RM6,000. It’s not known whether the QQ will be CKD or CBU. Alado intends to achieve combined sales of 1,000 units this year for the Chery QQ and Chery A160. The Chery A160 was introduced in December last year and there are currently 200 of them on the road to date.
The Chery QQ’s 800cc DOHC fuel injection 12 valve 3-cylinder powerplant makes 52 horsepower at 6,000rpm and 77Nm of torque at 3,500 to 4,000rpm. It’s estimated fuel consumption is 4.2 litres per 100km, but as usual your mileage may vary. There is also a 1051cc 4-cylinder engine option which makes 53 horsepower at 5,200rpm and 83Nm of torque but it will not be offered by Alado here at the moment.
It will be interesting to see how Chevrolet distributor Hicomobil will react to the imminent arrival of the QQ here on our local shores. Perhaps another “real Spark” campaign? In the USA, a company called Visionary Vehicles backed by Malcolm Bricklin, Maurice Strong and George Soros is trying to bring in the Chery marque into the US. General Motors have threathened litigation if Visionary Vehicles used the name Chery because it sounded too similiar to Chevy. While at first they adopted a blase attitude to the legal threats, in the end they decided to pick a new name which has not been decided on yet.
As for the two other Chery models, Alado intends to introduce CKD versions of the Chery B14 MPV and the Chery T11 SUV in November 2006 and January 2007 respectively. The CKD Chery B14 MPV will start production at Oriental Assembler Sdn Bhd’s plant in Johor Baru in October 2006, while the CKD Chery T11 SUV assembly is expected to begin in December. Alado intends to sell both the SUV and MPV models at prices below RM100,000. More economical choices for us.
More details on the MPV and SUV vehicles in separate posts: