Chery’s Crash Test Conundrum

crash-test-dummy.jpgAs most of us are Americans in the Managing the Dragon group, we may have missed this very interesting and informative piece of news in Russia Today that highlights more product quality/safety issues, this time affecting the Chinese auto industry, and the manufacturer Chery, in particular. A Russian auto magazine, AvtoRevu conducted one of the first crash tests of a Chinese automobile outside of China when they tested the Chery Amulet Sedan, the highest selling Chinese automobile in the Russian market, and called it “one of the worst performers it had ever seen.” The crash test footage speaks for itself

Chery has since denied the findings, saying that they were biased, as the lab that conducted the tests is owned by OAO Avtovaz, Russia’s largest automaker, and a Chery competitor. However, this report from the Detroit News states that Chery officials were present during the test, and calls into question how Chery would be unable to explain the method in which the tests were biased or rigged. Chery later hired the UK’s Vehicle Certification Agency to test the car, which passed, but under less rigorous conditions.

Since the largest market for exported Chinese automobiles is Russia, this quality/safety issue has the potential to turn into a major problem for Chery’s highest volume model in the Russian market. Additionally, with an agreement between Chrysler and Chery to manufacture automobiles for low end buyers just signed, this raises the question of yet another safety issue that affects Chinese exports that will enter American showrooms.

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