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Ateco Automotive Expanding with Chinese Brand

March 18th, 2008

Ateco, the exclusive importer of Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Citroen and Fiat products for Australian and New Zealand has extended its interests to cars from China.


The company’s Governing Director, Neville Crichton, announced today (18 March 2008) that a distributorship agreement for Australia and New Zealand has been signed with Chery Automobile Company.


Ateco first approached Chery almost three years ago. Neville Crichton signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in China with the company in November 2005. The distributorship agreement was executed earlier this month.


Ateco expects to launch three Chery models early next year – a light and a small passenger car plus a small SUV. Chery has four new models to unveil later this year and plans to release 38 new models over the next five years.


Chery built its first car in December 1999 and its one millionth in August 2007 – less than eight years later. Last year Chery sold 261,000 vehicles domestically and exported a further 120,000. Chery has been China’s leading vehicle exporter for the past five years.


Chery has active collaborations with suppliers such as Johnson Controls, Delphi, Bosch, Siemens VDO, Autoliv, GKN, Hella, Futuris. It also has an agreement to export 100,000 engine sets a year to Fiat.


Chery currently has production capacity for 650,000 units a year which it plans to lift to a million units over the next couple of years. The factories, covering two million square meters, are ultra modern and include extensive production equipment from overseas, usually Europe. It employs 25,000 people including 2,000 in R&D.


Chery, which is owned by the Anhui Provincial Government, is the largest independent vehicle manufacturer in China. There are some 26 Chinese car makers in joint ventures with global car companies. In addition there are about 20 independent manufacturers of which Chery is easily the biggest. It ranks fourth overall.


Ateco will be establishing a national dealer network for the new brand.


“We believe that China represents the future as a source of automotive products which makes this association with Chery a very exciting development for Ateco,” Mr Crichton said.


China is now the World’s second largest vehicle market recording 8.8 million sales last year.

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