So, I presume you are all wondering how Qoros Automotive is doing? I was so I went and found out.
In March I wrote an article about the Israeli-Chinese firm Qoros. The latest news is that Qoros is running into difficulty, leading to reports of a split between the Israeli investors and the Chinese side of things. The Wall Street Journal reported it another way, saying major shareholder, Israel Corp have reiterated their support for the firm. This is as reassuring as saying out of the blue, “I won’t chop off your arm”, I think.
In a letter released to the Wall Street Journal, Israel Corp said they were “looking forward to competing all over the planet with established OEMS”. Israel Corp may be rather nervous as they have already had their fingers singed with the Better Place project, an electric car company that has failed. So far, Israel Corp have invested $600 million in Qoros (compared to $300 million in Better Place). Presumably this means the Chinese partner, Chery, have also spent about the same. Their investment has yielded two cars, the Qoros 3 saloon and the Qoros 3 hatchback.
Or one car, if you are being uncharitable. On the money side, the losses have increased to $78 million in the second quarter of this year. The total losses in the first half of 2014 were $137 million. It would be interesting to compare this with Tesla, who have adopted a different technology and a different place in the market: electric propulsion and a vehicle aimed at early adopters who are willing to pay a lot more for their cars.
In comparison, the Qoros 3 twins are strikingly conventional in every way being, as I said, located in a ferociously contested sector, one owned by several well-established firms and their well-known products.
Apart from this, Qoros have no other news. I had a look at their website and found that in early October they won a string of design awards, none of which had to do with the cars themselves. Those awards were handed out by the German Design Council.
A few days ago they received recognition for having the best Chinese corporate fuel efficiency rating: “In 2013, Qoros achieved an average fuel consumption of 6.37 L/100km, significantly outperforming its CAFC 2013 target of 7.53 L/100km”. As they only have one engine, this figure is perhaps of slightly questionable value. But these things are relative and they beat other Chinese brands such as BMW China Brilliance (80.13% against its target), BYD and FAW-VW.
As of August 2014, the first year on sale, Qoros have sold about 1500 cars. To put that in perspective, in the first nine months of the years, total Chinese auto sales were 17 million units, which was an increase of 7% on the previous year.