Chinese carmaker Chery’s official return to Malaysia now has a more concrete date: July 2023. But before the scheduled brand launch, local production (CKD) of its “Phase One” models, including the Tiggo 8 Pro and Omoda 5, will begin in June this year.
The estimated timeframe was announced by Chery International Executive Vice President Charlie Zhang, during a media gathering in Kuala Lumpur today.
Zhang says that the company is working tirelessly to meet that schedule, and its local product road map for Malaysia, alongside its localisation plans, are all already confirmed. On the latter, Zhang added that the common parts such as tires, seat upholstery, and plastic trims will be localised.
The company has yet to announce its local production partner yet due to non-disclosure agreements, but Zhang reassured that the announcement will be made “very very soon”.
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As announced in the first official preview last year, Chery Malaysia’s “Phase One” plan will include the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro and Omoda 5 models. This will then be followed by the Tiggo 7 Pro and Tiggo 4 Pro in the coming years. While the Omoda 5 is expected to become the marque’s volume maker in the Malaysian market, Chery’s return to Malaysia will first be headlined by the Tiggo 8 Pro.
For Malaysia, the seven-seater SUV will be offered initially with a 2.0-litre turbocharged inline-four engine, making up to 250 hp and 390 Nm. Power is sent to either the front wheels or all four wheels via a seven-speed DCT gearbox.
Following the launch, however, Chery says that a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variant of the Tiggo 8 Pro is expected to be launched in Malaysia as soon as next year. It’ll feature the marque’s third-generation PHEV powertrain, consisting of a 1.5-litre turbocharged engine, two electric motors, as well as what the marque calls a 3DHT (Dedicated Hybrid Transmission) gearbox, for a combined output of 241 hp and 510 Nm.
Chery says the third-generation PHEV powertrain will feature class-leading thermal efficiency of up to 44%, and boasts a range of over 100 km in a single charge.
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As for the Chery Omoda 5, the futuristic-looking crossover will likely feature a 1.5-litre turbocharged inline-four engine underneath the hood, similar to what the Indonesian market gets. The 1.5-litre mill makes 154 hp and 230 Nm, with power sent to the front wheels via a CVT gearbox.
During the preview last year, Chery Malaysia revealed that the Omoda 5 will also be offered with a 1.6-litre turbocharged direct-injection inline-four unit, making 194 hp and 290 Nm of torque. However, the most interesting variant of the Omoda 5 has to be the fully-electric EV variant, confirmed to launch in Malaysia towards the end of this year.
No specifications have been announced yet, but Zhang says that the ride-hand-drive model is expected to begin production in China in September, before moving to Malaysia at a later date.
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