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New Chinese carmaker eyes European market

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COLLEEN BARRY | March 6, 2013 10:30 AM EST | AP


GENEVA — A Geneva Motor Show newcomer is threatening to shake up the European automotive industry.

Qoros, a joint venture between Chinese carmaker Chery Automobile Ltd. and an Israeli investor, previewed a compact sedan at the Geneva show that it aims to launch in eastern Europe later this year.

Qoros Vice Chairman Volker Steinwascher, a former VW executive, said the car `'from a technical point of view is very European," designed, engineered and styled in Europe.

He put total investments – including building the Chinese factory, platform development and design – at under (EURO)1 billion ($1.3 billion), not far from what established car companies spend for platform development alone.

The car will sell for under (EURO)20,000, with modest volumes to start. But Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne, for one, acknowledged competitive concern.