Chinese carmaker Chery has big plans for South Africa

 ·16 Mar 2024

Chery is one of South Africa’s best-selling car brands, and its family of vehicles will soon be getting much larger with the addition of new models pulled from its various sub-brands.

According to a representative from Chery South Africa, the company is planning to introduce cars from its Exeed, iCar, Karry, and Luxeed divisions, reported TopAuto.

However, these cars will be sold under the existing nameplates of Chery, Jaecoo, and Omoda.

Chery first entered the South African market in 2008, but their low-priced vehicles failed to gain traction due to the lack of emphasis on producing high-quality cars.

This resulted in a poor reputation among car enthusiasts, particularly due to their low safety ratings – with most models receiving very low scores or none at all.

However, this trend is fast becoming a thing of the past as Chinese brands seem to be pulling ahead in the South African car market.

Chery resumed operations in South Africa in 2021 and is now selling three models from its Chery Tiggo Pro range of SUVs, which include the Tiggo 4 Pro, 7 Pro, and 8 Pro.

In 2023, the automaker expanded its local operations by introducing its first sub-brand, Omoda. Currently, Omoda has a single vehicle, the C5 crossover, but it is planning to launch the flagship C9 and all-electric E5 models later this year.


Additionally, Chery is introducing its latest brand, Jaecoo, in South Africa.

The brand will debut with its J7 luxury SUV, followed later this year by the larger J8.

These three brands, including Chery and Omoda, will serve as Chery’s main subsidiaries in South Africa and will pave the way for other models from the carmaker’s numerous other models to be introduced in the future.

2024 JAECOO J7

Starting with iCar, this is the company’s dedicated electric vehicle (EV) brand that was first announced in April 2023, along with its first model, the iCar 03.

Chery did not provide any specifics on its incoming vehicles, so we can’t definitively say that the 03 is coming to South Africa just yet, but it did state that iCar will fall under one of the three other branches, so something like an “Omoda 03” seems like a strong possibility.

The 03 went on sale in China this February and is marketed as an affordable EV aimed at younger audiences with a price of 109,800 RMB, which works out to roughly R400,000 at the current exchange rate.

While this sticker is likely to be much higher if it’s brought to South Africa, owing to the exchange rate and high import duties, the 03 is still expected to be one of the cheaper EVs in the country alongside the BYD Dolphin and GWM Ora.

2023 ICAR 03

According to TopAuto, three new car brands, namely Exeed, Luxeed, and Karry, will be coming to South Africa.

However, these brands will not be launching officially and instead, they will be using the Omoda badge.

Exeed is a luxury carmaker that was introduced in 2017. It currently offers six different models, including three crossovers (LX, RX, and Sterra ET), three SUVs (TX, TXL, VX), and a sedan (Sterra ES).

The two Sterra models are battery-electric vehicles, while the rest use petrol engines.


Luxeed is a car brand that resulted from a partnership between Chery and tech company Huawei.

The partnership was announced in May 2023, and the brand launched its first car, the electric S7 sedan, a few months later in November.

The S7 is a premium model with a starting price of $35,000. There are already plans to release another unit, the S9 coupe.

2023 LUXEED S7

Chery also has a light commercial division called Karry that produces delivery vans, MPVs, and pick-up trucks.

Although most of these vehicles are tailored for the Chinese market, Karry is developing a new mid-size double cab that is expected to compete against popular models like the Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux, and Isuzu D-Max.

This new vehicle could be a huge success in South Africa, where bakkies are very popular.

Given the success of the Chinese GWM P-Series within its domestic market, it would be more surprising if Chery did not bring its bakkie to South African showrooms.

Chery has confirmed the introduction of all its brands except for Jetour, which is another crossover and SUV producer catering to the mass market.

Although Jetour’s models may make an appearance on our soil in the future, it seems that the brand is not currently under consideration.

Read: The 10 best-selling hatchbacks in South Africa – with one starting at R174,900

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