The Kaliningrad plant Avtotor announced the start of production of Kaiyi E5 sedans. It is specified that the modernization of the production line required investments in the amount of more than 100 million rubles, and sales will begin in the first quarter of 2023. What is this car?
Kaiyi (pronounced “Kai”) is the Chinese name for the budget brand Cowin, which was owned by Chery until 2018. Then, 51% of the shares were sold to the state-owned company Yibin Automobile Industry Development Investment due to unprofitability. At the same time, Chery is still responsible for the development of the brand’s model line.
The Kaiyi E5 sedan is an export version of the Cowin Xuandu model (white car pictured), which debuted in China in 2021. This is a product of a deep modernization of Chery Arrizo 7, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary this year. In terms of dimensions (4666 x 1825 x 1483 mm; wheelbase – 2700 mm) Xuandu is in the same class with Hyundai Elantra and Toyota Corolla. The front suspension is of the MacPherson type, a multi-link is installed at the rear, but all-wheel drive is not provided.
Under the hood is a 1.5-liter Chery turbo engine with the SQRE4T15C index. In the specification for China, it develops 156 hp. With. and 230 Nm, and in our derated up to 147 liters. With. and 210 Nm version is installed on Chery Tiggo 7 Pro, Exeed LX and Omoda C5. Kaiyi E5 is available with both 5-speed “mechanics” and CVT.
The equipment of the model includes LED optics, disc brakes (front with ventilation), electric power steering, an electronic parking brake with AutoHold function and a sunroof. But the climate control and virtual instruments of the budget model are not available.
At first, the assembly of Kaiyi E5 at Avtotor will be carried out using the “screwdriver” method: vehicle kits from China will be delivered through Far Eastern ports and along the Trans-Siberian Railway. Over time, Avtotor plans to switch to full-cycle assembly using Russian components.
The distributor of the new brand in Russia will be KAI RUS LLC. Prices have not yet been announced. In China, Cowin Xuandu costs from 67.8 to 93.9 thousand yuan (700-970 thousand rubles). We assume that Russian prices will be about twice as high.
By the end of 2023, the Kaiyi line in Russia will be replenished with three more models, Avtotor representatives report. Also this year, the production of BAIC X3 crossovers and one or more models of another Chinese automaker will begin at the Kaliningrad site.