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Qoros Abandons European Market to Focus on China, Sold Just 7,000 Cars Worldwide

Qoros is technically a joint venture between Chinese and Israeli investors, but most people consider them to be Chinese, since that's where the production takes place. A couple of years ago, they announced they would start selling cars in Europe, but things didn't go according to plan.
Qoros 2 Hybrid SUV 34 photos
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According to an article posted by German magazine Wirtschaftswoche, they've only managed to sell 7,000 cars in 2014 and also sustained losses in the hundreds of millions of euros.

Now there's a new man at the helm, ex-GM manager Phil Murtaugh, and he wants to take things one step at a time. Instead of continuing the European offensive, which so far has yielded dismal results, they will focus on China.

"Since when does Qoros even sell cars in Europe?" we hear you ask. It's a fair question. Very few people know this, but there is one dealership in Slovakia and an official website. It promotes the few significant achievements they have, like the 5-star safety rating achieved in Euro NCAP tests and a Red Dot "honorable mention for car design" from 2014.

Some might consider that Qoros doesn't have enough cars to call itself a brand in Europe. They boast three different body styles virtually the same machine, the Qoros 3. However, at the Shanghai Auto Show, they revealed a concept for a plug-in hybrid SUV that we rather liked. The model boasted an all-electric range of 50 kilometers and induction charging, so it's comparable to German tech in every way.

It also previewed a new design direction, where vertical lines are the main focus. This is the work of a former MINI designer called Gert Hildebrand, whom you might know as the Countryman's creator.

With just one dealership outside of China, we can't even say that Qoros failed anything because it never actually tried. The European offensive was just a trial for what may come in a few more years. However, we now know that brand recognition is crucial.

Renault's budget brand Dacia sold over 500,000 cars in 2014, a fifth of which was in France alone. So you begin understand how a no-name Chinese company will struggle with a car that costs €16,000 but nobody knows about.

The Russians at Lada also tried and failed to conquer mainland Europe with their chunky 4x4. For the past two years, they sold fewer cars than Lamborghini. Geely and Luxgen also dipped their toe with disappointing results.

 
 
 
 
 

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