Chinese automaker Chery Automobile and partner Israel Corporation are launching a new brand, as the two companies seek fresh appeal both overseas and in the slowing local market.

The 50-50 joint venture Qoros Automotive, launched on Monday in Shanghai, aims to be one of the first Chinese carmakers to meet stringent 2013 Euro auto safety standards, the companies said. Chery and Israel Corporation, an industrial holding company, originally launched their joint venture in 2007 as Chery Quantum Auto. Since then, the company hasn’t been in the news. Qoros plans to introduce its first model, a compact sedan, in China and Western Europe in 2013, executives said.

According to the two companies, the name Qoros is “new word meant to represent a company that stands for quality and works together like a chorus.” Volker Steinwascher, Qoros vice chairman, said: “People like brands and products they can be passionate about. Quality, design, connectivity and simplicity, these are the key drivers of our brand.”

Qoros is aiming to meet 2013 European 5-star quality levels of the EuroNCAP. To do so, it is working with Austria’s Magna Steyr, a major independent automotive design firm, and has hired designer Gert Hildebrand, formerly of BMW Mini. Israel Corporation is Israel’s largest holding company, with interests mainly in chemicals, shipping and energy.


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