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Chery drives into high-end segment

CHINA'S Chery Automobile Co yesterday unveiled its high-end brands as the car maker seeks to boost profitability and expand into overseas markets.

The nation's biggest car maker for self-branded vehicles added the "Riich" mid-to-high class models as well as the "Rely" branded sport utility vehicles and multi-purpose vehicles to its portfolio. Chery said at least five models are planned under the "Riich" nameplate, including a sports coupe and three small compacts.

Introducing the high-end models represents Chery's efforts to enter the higher market segment. It also paves the way for the auto maker to drive into overseas markets as competition in the domestic market stiffens.

Chery aims to boost its total sales by 17 percent to 419,000 units this year, including 263,000 sold in China and 156,000 for export.

The first model, Riich G6 rolled off the assembly line at a plant in Wuhu yesterday. Equipped with a 3.0 V6 or 2.0 turbo engine, Chery said the car would be on par with the Audi A6L, the most popular business sedan in China.

"The model will play a major role in expanding into the mid-to-high class segment and compete with premier cars made by foreign rivals," Chery said in a statement.

The self-developed Riich G6 will sell at between 180,000 yuan (US$26,373) and 220,000 yuan against Audi A6L's 500,000 yuan.


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