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Finding it a challenge to penetrate foreign markets because your cars have drab design? Turn drab to fab by hiring an experience professional to do it. That’s a proven concept that Kia executed with Peter Schreyer, and now so many other car makers are following lead.

Here’s one example. Chery is a company that just a few years ago produced the Chery QQ by pretty much ripping off the Chevrolet Matiz. And then their designs started getting better but still pretty much a hit and miss – the affordable and decent looking Chery Eastar MPV is doing well in Malaysia, but the same can’t be said about the Chery A5 or the Chery Tiggo. Then Chery decided to do a Kia and hire Hakan Saracoglu, formerly of Porsche.

Yes, another former Volkswagen group designer. Saracoglu will lead Chery’s 30-strong Shanghai-based design team, and the effects are already showing in this Shanghai 2013 concept car – the Chery Alpha 7 Concept. It’s a mature and proportionate looking design, and there are a mix of cues from Audi, Seat and other Volkswagen Group design language in it.

The production version of the Chery Alpha 7 Concept will be the first car built a new platform called iAUTO. It’s a C-segment car measuring 4,650 mm long, 1,820 mm wide and 1,480 mm tall, with a 2,700 mm wheelbase. It’s going to be packed with all kinds of features, including ‘cloud-connected’ ones such as remote locking/unlocking and start via a smartphone app. This concept actually looks pretty much production ready – only a few designs need to change, like those huge wheels.

What do you think of the Chery Alpha 7 Concept? If it goes on sale in Malaysia with a price lower than it’s Korean and Japanese C-segment rivals, would you consider one?