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Chery looking at bringing in Arrizo 6, Ant EV

CHERY AUTO PHILIPPINES, local distributor and service provider for the Chinese automotive brand, has been known for its crossover/SUV products, particularly its line of Tiggo-branded vehicles. That’s well and good, but the firm doesn’t want to confine itself to the genre.

In an exclusive interview with “Velocity,” company president Errol Dueñas said, “We’re planning to bring in sedans, but we’re carefully assessing the market first. There are a lot of players in that segment, and we need to assess pricing carefully.”

The first sedan that Chery is looking to bring in is the Arrizo 6 — in both conventional ICE and hybrid guises. Powered by a turbocharged 1.5-liter “high-efficiency” engine, the Arrizo packs 147ps and 210Nm. Based on the company website, the power plant allows the sedan to muster up to 15.6 kilometers per liter — certainly welcome news for motorists looking for relief from surging fuel cost. Another electric model in the mix for Chery Auto Philippines, according to Mr. Dueñas, is the Chery Ant crossover.

And that’s probably the underlying theme that the auto brand is also pushing with “The World of Luxury” roadshow it kicked off recently at the SM Aura Premier in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. The star of the “bespoke experience” is Chery’s all-new flagship Tiggo 8 Pro. Coming in two powertrain choices — a 1.6 turbocharged gasoline direct injection, and a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), both showcase a more upmarket feel and a considerable range of tech goodies and touches.

The Tiggo 8 Pro has an Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) with 12 safety functions, including Rear Cross Traffic Assist, Blind Spot Detection, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Door Opening Warning, Forward Collision Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Assist, Traffic Jam Assist, Integrated Cruise Assist, Intelligent High-Beam Control, Lane Departure Warning, and Speed Limit Sign Recognition. The model also comes with the brand’s Premium Preserv warranty package — a seven-year engine warranty, seven-year general warranty, three-year full preventive maintenance service, and three-year roadside assistance.

In April, Chery Auto Philippines reported a 143% increase in sales versus the same month last year, along with a “best-ever” monthly figure.

Mr. Dueñas shared that the Tiggo 8 Pro, specifically the 1.6-liter variant (priced at P1.645 million) was the brand’s best-seller last month, outpacing the Tiggo 7 Pro which previously held the honor.

All the attention accorded the Tiggo Pro 8 is also a way for Chery to highlight its first PHEV, priced P2.45 million. Out of the 20 dealerships the company has thus far, 12 are equipped to sell and service the model. The executive observed that more people are starting to look at electrified vehicles anyway — driven by both the aforementioned fuel cost, coupled with a genuine curiosity at going greener. “At our road show, a lot of people have already been inquiring about our PHEV. That’s a good sign,” he underscored. The first batch of Tiggo 8 Pro PHEVs numbering 20 are close to being sold out.

It makes sense, Mr. Dueñas stressed, as people are definitely on the lookout for more frugal alternatives. Based on the company’s testing here, the PHEV can run 75 to 90 kilometers solely on electricity. On long drives, the bottom line figure is 30 kilometers per liter of fuel. “People can still get a little worried when they travel on purely electric vehicles. There’s no range anxiety in PHEVs.”

Chery’s “The World of Luxury” will make stops at SM Megamall, Eastwood City, Estancia, SM City North EDSA, SM Mall of Asia, Lucky Chinatown, and Glorietta. Mr. Dueñas said that legs in Visayas and Mindanao are also being scheduled, with stops in Davao, Cebu, and Cagayan.

For more information, follow Chery Auto Philippines on Facebook and @cheryautophilippines on Instagram or e-mail chery@uaagi.com. The 24/7 Chery Auto Philippines hotline is 0917-552-4379. — Kap Maceda Aguila

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