Counting on modest achievements from its comeback year marred by the effects of a pandemic, Chery is ready for a bigger push to claim its place in the local auto market.
Chery defied the odds and disproved naysayers when it steadily grew its network of dealerships since its re-launch in November 2019, putting on display its four crossover models and an all-electric vehicle.
Soon enough, the UAAGI Group, the same group that successfully brought in the Foton brand over a decade ago, was able to convince customers that they’ve entered the PH market for the long haul.
Chery Auto Philippines president Rommel Sytin was himself very satisfied with the Chery brand’s performance last year and made sure that all the efforts in creating brand awareness reaped handsome dividends.
Chery PH invested heavily on above and below-the-line promotions including getting one of the country’s top endorsers, Coco Martin of the Probinsyano fame, to show the market Chery is serious about its comeback.
The brand had a grand launch on November 27, 2019 starting off with four of its crossover models at Solaire Casino and Resort Hotel. With barely three months in the market, the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns happened in March 2020.
“After introducing four models just last year before the ECQ, Chery is truly overwhelmed with the reception and acceptance of the market. Imagine, from zero to 617 units on a pandemic year, the total sales were more than we expected,” said Sytin.
“We ended 2020 with a total of 17 dealerships, and by 2021, more Chery showroom and service facilities will inaugurate to serve the growing number of customers looking for a fun-to-drive, easy-to-own, and feature-packed vehicles.”
Chery carries a full line up of crossover models – from Tiggo 2 to Tiggo 8, targeting various segments in the market. According to Sytin, its Tiggo 2 garnered the most number of sales as it was an affordable yet fully-functional people carrier from point A to point B during the pandemic where public transportation was limited.
The Tiggo 5X and Tiggo 8 also had its own following site due to its state-of-the-art characteristics and specs features. The Tiggo 8 became one of the most popular crossovers in the market due to its 7-seater capacity and the digital Chery Smartwatch Key feature coupled with a 3-year Free Maintenance package, plus 5-Year Vehicle Warranty.
For 2021, Chery will roll out 4 to 5 new models, the first of which will be the Tiggo 7 Pro (shown in main photo).
“We are aiming to gain a bigger market share as Chery wants more Filipinos to own a reasonably-priced car that can give so much driving and riding comfort with all the tech features present in every Chery Tiggo.”
The auto industry’s woes for 2020 are compounded with DTI’s new safeguard bond, and amidst new challenges (and new mutations) of the COVID-19, Sytin said that he is optimistic that with a number of vaccines poised to arrive soon, the economic recovery will get going.
As to the added burden of the DTI bond, he said that they “will wait for the final IRR and see how we can augment by offering attractive deals to our customers eagerly wanting to own a Chery Tiggo.”
If we are to look at UAAGI Group’s track record in making Foton the 9th bestselling brand in the country in a relatively short time, it looks like Chery found the right partner to do the job this time.
Charles E. Buban is an old timer in the Philippine automotive journalism scene. He first started covering the automotive beat in 2003, writing news and reviews of new models and car tech, among other car-related stuff. When not writing about cars, he could often be seen riding his mountain bike or doing long walks in the hope of catching a couple of legendary Pokemons.