Chery launches 28,000 euro crossover SUV in Italy as it plans Europe expansion

MILAN (Reuters) – China’s Chery Auto is starting sales in Italy with a petrol version of its Omoda 5 crossover SUV, priced from 27,900 euros ($30,182), as the automaker assesses its options to expand its manufacturing capacity and sales in Europe.

One of several Chinese companies bringing budget cars to Europe, mostly electric, Chery began European sales in Spain earlier this year.

It is now expanding in the region and aims to enter over 60 new markets globally in the next three years, Vice President Shawn Xu said late on Thursday at a presentation in Milan.

After the European Union’s decision on Thursday to confirm tariffs on imports of electric vehicles (EVs) made in China, Chery’s EVs will be subject to an additional duty of 20.8%.

In Italy, the Omoda 5 will be available in an EV version from September. By the end of this year Chery will also offer its larger Jaecoo 7 SUV in Italy in a petrol and then plug-in hybrid version.

By the end of 2025, Chery plans three SUV models each for its Omoda and Jaecoo brands with a mixture of fuel types to serve different parts of Europe.

But as trade tensions run high with the EU, bringing manufacturing capacity to Europe will help Chery, China’s largest automaker by export volume, boost sales and offset the impact of European tariffs.

Chery earlier this year agreed with a local partner in Spain to manufacture cars in Barcelona but is now looking at a second production site in the region.

The Italian government has also been trying to attract manufacturing investment and has held talks with several Chinese automakers in recent months, including Chery.

Industry Minister Adolfo Urso on Thursday met Chery Auto’s Chairman Yin Tongyue in Beijing, as part of a two-day official visit in China.

Asked on Thursday whether the group was close to a deal with Rome, Chery’s Shawn Xu said “we still need some discussions”.

    ($1 = 0.9244 euros)

(Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari; editing by Jason Neely)



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