New Omoda and Jaecoo brands plot rapid UK expansion

Omoda 5 front three quarter
Omoda 5 front three quarter

UK cars will have bespoke damper settings, spring rates and bush rates

Chery will launch its Omoda and Jaecoo brands in the UK in the coming months, with plans to rapidly expand to an eight model line-up of petrol, hybrid and electric cars by 2025.

Founded in 1997, Chery is one of China’s largest car manufacturers - and its leading exporter of cars. It established the Omoda and Jaecoo brands specifically for international expansion and has been working on its UK entry for more than a year.

Omoda is a fashion-focused brand, while Jaecoo has a more performance-based and off-road slant. Both will focus on offering a line-up of "affordable premium" SUVs, offering high levels of standard kit at competitive prices.


Omoda and Jaecoo will share dealerships. There are around 65 so far confirmed for launch – and plans for around 100 to be in place by the end of this year.

The brands will arrive in the UK with the Omoda 5 and Jaecoo 7, which are both Nissan Qashqai-sized SUVs.

Chery’s engineering team leader, former Jaguar Land Rover engineer Peter Matkin, vowed that the two models would be specially tuned for UK roads.

“We’ve put a lot of focus in developing cars for Europe,” he said. “We have a small team in Frankfurt that has conducted extensive benchmarking and development work, and we’ve shipped cars they’ve developed to China so our team there can learn from them.

“The UK cars will have bespoke damper settings, spring rates and bush rates, and we’ve made adjustments to the anti-roll bars to make sure they meet European tastes more closely.”

Matkin added that such localisation would extend to the technology and infotainment system in the cars, nothing that Omoda was redesigning key elements of the touchscreen controls, including entirely new screens and priorities for certain processes.

Omoda and Jaecoo: the launch line-up

Omoda is set to launch in the UK in the coming months with the combustion-engined 5 and electric E5, which are C-segment SUVs (so around 4.4m long) designed to compete with the likes of the Nissan Qashqai and Kia Niro.

The 5 will initially be offered with a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 187bhp. That will be joined by a 1.5-litre hybrid early next year. It will be priced from around £24,000, making it one of the cheapest cars in its segment.

The E5 is based on the same platform but has a substantially revised front end with a far smaller grille. It's powered by a 204bhp electric motor and a 61kWh battery. It has a range of 257 miles and can be charged at rates of up to 80kW. Omoda is aiming for a price of between £30,000 and £35,000.

The 5 weighs 1430kg, while the E5 tips the scales at 1710kg, making it one of the lightest cars of its kind, according to Omoda.

They will be joined later this year by the flagship Omoda 9, which will launch with the same 1.6-litre petrol engine. A plug-in hybrid with two- or four-wheel-drive will follow soon after.

The 9 is around 4.7m long and has an even greater focus on a premium-feeling interior. Pricing is expected to start at around £35,000.

Beyond that, Omoda has confirmed plans to bring the as yet unrevealed 3, a B-segment SUV that will rival the Nissan Juke, and 7 to the UK next year. They are tipped to be offered with similar powertrains to the 5 and 9.

Pricing is unconfirmed, but it's understood that Omoda is aiming for the starting price of the petrol-engined 3 to be less than £20,000.

Jaecoo will launch in the UK this year with the 7, which is essentially a more rugged and boxy reworking of the Omoda 5. With styling cues inspired by off-roaders such as the Land Rover Defender, it's likely to be priced at around £35,000.

The Jaecoo 7 will launch with the 187bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine seen in the Omoda models. A plug-in hybrid version will arrive later this year or early in 2025.

Following that, there are confirmed plans for two more models: the larger Jaecoo 8, which will be offered with a PHEV powertrain, and the smaller Jaecoo 5. No details have been given on the latter, but it's likely to be based on the Omoda 3.