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Chery QQ Trumps Chevrolet Spark in Sales

Quoted from Autoblog :
Original Article
Autoblog said:
We all know that GM has serious beef with Chinese auto maker Chery. GM is suing Chery over the QQ (shown), a mini car that GM claims Chery copied from GM-Daewoo's Matiz, which GM currently sells as the Chevrolet Spark in China. So far, the court battle hasn't gotten anywhere as GM has failed to produce any evidence on how Chery gained information about Spark's appearance by illegal means. To add insult to injury, according to recently-released sales data, during the first 7 months of 2005, Chery QQ sold 61,633 units compared to Chevrolet Spark's 15,912 units, out-selling the Spark nearly 4 to 1. In a crowded segment with 20 different makes including the likes of VW Polo, Buick Kaiyue HRV and Fiat Palio, how did Chery QQ manage to rise to the top and control a dominant 18.72% of the market share within only two years since its introduction? If you would suspend your judgment on the alleged IP infringement issue, we have a detailed analysis that will show you exactly how…

  • Design: QQ�s modern appearance satisfies its target customer�s (China�s youth) need for self-expression.
  • Safety: QQ continues to improve its safety features � introducing front driver and passenger airbags as standard features on its �Super 05� model.
  • Technology: Chery deployed a wide array of technology developed for its mid to high-end models on the QQ, giving the customers great bang for the buck.
  • Cost: Priced at $3,600, QQ is $1,000 cheaper than the Spark. The good fuel efficiency and cheap parts makes QQ cheap to maintain.
  • Efficiency: Its miniature size makes it easy to park in China�s crowded streets yet its interior offers reasonable room.
  • Quality: Through continuous improvement, QQ has earned the consumers� trust. In a 2004 J.D. Power quality study, QQ recorded 20% less issues than its competitors, placing it first in the segment.
  • Marketing: Using unconventional marketing tactics such as producing QQ-inspired driving music further separates QQ from the pack.

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(cited from ABC News)


DETROIT Nov 18, 2005 (AP)—
General Motors Corp. said Friday it has reached a settlement resolving all legal disputes with Chinese automaker Chery Automobile Co., which had been accused of pirating the design of GM's Spark minicar.

GM had said its Spark looks similar to the Chery QQ, and the world's biggest automaker had filed lawsuits trying to prevent Chery from selling the car in various markets, including Asia and Eastern Europe.

GM also had threatened legal action against Chery because of its name. GM says "Chery" sounds too much like "Chevy," the nickname of its Chevrolet brand. Chery agreed in September that it won't market its vehicles under the Chery name in the United States.

Under the settlement, GM and Chery won't take further legal action against each other. Further details of the settlement weren't released. GM said the two automakers will concentrate on developing their separate businesses.

"All parties highly appreciate the efforts that have been made by relevant governmental authorities for the purpose of further clarifying the intellectual property rights issue and relevant legal frameworks," GM said in a statement.

GM obtained the Spark design in 2002 when it acquired South Korea's Daewoo Motor Sales Corp. In September, China's State Intellectual Property Office determined the Spark design was never patented in China and wasn't protected by China's intellectual property laws.

GM and Chery are two of the biggest players in the Chinese market. Five Chery models are expected to arrive in the U.S. market in the summer of 2007, according to New York-based Visionary Vehicles, which plans to market Chery vehicles in the United States.
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