Chinese brand Chery is edging closer to unveiling a ute to take on Australia’s best-selling Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux, according to overseas reports.

    As reported by Carscoops, sources close to Chery have told the publication it’s developing a traditional body-on-frame ute to be sold in South America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region – including Australia.

    It’ll reportedly be revealed in the coming months, ahead of a launch in 2025.

    Chery first announced its intention to launch a ute in Australia in August 2022, a handful of months before the Chinese brand returned to the local market following its short initial run from 2011 to 2014.

    “We are also working on the feasibility study of developing the pickups because the pickup market in Australia is something very, very important,” Chery International executive vice president Charlie Zhang told Australian media in 2022.

    “So I believe in the next [few] years, we will develop the pickup.”

    Chery has previously sold utes overseas – with its Karry sub-brand selling both the Higgo and Aika in the 2010s – though its Australian model range currently consists of two SUVs, the Omoda 5 and Tiggo 7 Pro.

    Carscoops speculates the as-yet unnamed Chery ute could adopt a number of powertrains, from exclusively petrol or diesel engines, to petrol plug-in hybrid or electric options, though no concrete details have been reported.

    While Australian new car buyers have continued to buy utes made by traditional brands such as Ford, Toyota and Isuzu – which build their popular models in Thailand – in droves, cheaper rivals from China’s GWM and LDV have started to move up the sales charts.

    In 2023, the GWM Ute and LDV T60 from China outsold the Nissan Navara and Volkswagen Amarok in Australia.

    More Chinese utes are expected to come to Australia in the near future, with BYD set to debut a plug-in hybrid dual-cab this year, while JAC’s T9 ute was spied on local soil in mid-2023.

    Chery has not yet announced when it plans to launch its ute for Australia, though the brand will soon expand its range with the larger Tiggo 8 Pro SUV in the coming months.

    Jordan Mulach

    Born and raised in Canberra, Jordan has worked as a full-time automotive journalist since 2021, being one of the most-published automotive news writers in Australia before joining CarExpert in 2024.

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