Saturday, January 05, 2008

Chinese cars win increasing buyers in ME, N Africa markets

CAIRO, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- For years, consumers in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have become used to buying small and low-tech made-in-China commodities. But now, they are showing increasing interest in trying something bigger -- China's home-grown sedans.
Within just several years, cars with Chinese brands are quickly leaving their own marks on streets in MENA countries, from Jordan to Egypt, which had been traditionally dominated by cars from Europe, Japan and South Korea.
Like many other made-in-China goods, Chinese brand cars have a formidable edge over their competitors with lower prices and high quality.
In the Jordanian capital Amman, Ala Suleiman who had just by a Chery sedan told Xinhua that he chose Chery because of its competitive price, soft installment payment and fuel economy. Chery Automobile Co. Ltd., one of the biggest home-grown carmakers in China, began to sell its car in Jordan about three years ago. And by now, Chery has sold more than 3,000 units in this Arabnation, said Moutaz al-Shaweish, sales manager of the franchise store set up by Chery Jordan Company Ltd.
Such sales volume was quite satisfactory given the fact that Chery, as a newcomer in the world's fiercely-competitive auto industry, was totally unknown in the Jordanian car market several years ago, said al-Shaweish.
"Actually, we were (then) facing many difficulties to convince consumers to buy our cars when they were offered for the first time in the market," al-Shaweish recalled.
But now, "we are not facing such difficulties as Chery isgrowing stronger and more competitive. Jordanians are willing to buy (Chery cars) for their quality and prices," he told Xinhua, adding that Chery car prices were competitive in comparison withany other brand including those from South Korea. Eng. Mohamed al-Qalam, chairman of Chery Jordan Company Ltd., said that demand for Chinese-made cars, including Chery, was remarkably good in Jordan this year.
"Chery gave consumers freedom of movement and choice in addition to specifications which meet demands of low-income brackets," al-Qalam told Xinhua.

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