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After multiple teasers, a vital MoU-signing (Memorandum of Understanding), and one elaborate booth at the 2024 Singapore Motor Show, Chery Automobile has finally made its official return to Singapore.

And it’s done so with not just one, but two inseparable sister brands, too, under the stewardship of its old partner, Vertex Automobile.

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On the evening of Tuesday, 23 May 2024, the doors to the gleaming-new OMODA-JAECOO showroom were grandly opened to members of the media and selected customers at 3 Ubi Road 4. Simultaneously, Vertex and Chery also celebrated the market launch of the latter’s first new model in Singapore in a decade: The all-electric OMODA E5 (more on that in just a bit).

The new OMODA-JAECOO facility, as the name suggests, will service the two brands Chery has pinned its hopes on as it intensifies its push for a stronger global footprint: OMODA and JAECOO.

Speaking to guests at the event, General Manager of Vertex Automobile Singapore, Ms. Serena Wong, noted that the space holds the honour of being the very first independent OMODA-JAECOO showroom in Southeast Asia. “Every aspect of this showroom — right down to every piece of furniture”, she added, “is built according to stringent guidelines given by the OMODA-JAECOO brand identity”.

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As to how that has translated in material form, the facility notably sports what can be described as a futuristic design, adorned with digital walls, and marked by large open spaces. These efforts are ostensibly in line with Chery’s positioning of both brands as for “the young at heart”.

It’s not clear where exactly Vertex and Chery are drawing the line between both brands — since the official word is that both target ‘trendier’ individuals — but it does seem that the JAECOO brand (from what we’ve seen abroad) will focus on more rugged SUVs, with proper offroading capabilities.

Depending on which section customers enter after they step into the showroom — either left or right — they will find themselves in either the OMODA or JAECOO sections, each with their own lounge and car display areas. One highlight is the point of re-convergence at the back, which has been playfully dubbed the ‘O&J Space’.

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Notably, both OMODA and JAECOO will serve the nation’s goal of moving towards cleaner energy, with their combined portfolio consisting only of new energy vehicles (NEVs). The term refers to vehicles that rely either entirely, or partially on electric power.

As mentioned earlier, the OMODA E5 is spearheading Chery’s re-entry into Singapore, and comes swinging in to the fiercely-contested, compact electric crossover segment with its own generous and unique set of features to boot.

There is its sleek styling, for starters, which is based on the firm’s ‘Art in Motion’ design philosophy, and inspired by the “interplay of light and form”.

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Narrow LED daytime running lights are integrated into a slim bar on the car’s nose, and sit above the car’s actual, angular head lights below. These are mirrored at the car’s rear with uninterrupted, horizontal taillamp.

Speaking to guests, Vice President and General Manager of Design at Chery International, Steve Eum, also noted that special attention was paid to the car’s side profile to give it an athletic stance both when static and in motion.

On the inside, the E5 impresses too with its cleanly-designed cabin. The centrepiece of the dashboard is its 24.6-inch ‘curved screen’, which houses twin 10.25-inch displays for the infotainment systems and driver’s instrument cluster.

The car also gets eco-leather seats, and delightfully, an eight-speaker Sony sound system for the audiophiles. Other goodies offered as standard include both an electric tailgate and electric sunroof, 64-colour ambient lighting, and wireless connectivity for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

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This is a modern EV, so the E5 boasts Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) capabilities too. But the cherry on top of the icing, perhaps, is a feature that any Singaporean will appreciate: Ventilated (and electrically adjustable) seats, for the driver and front passenger.

As for the car’s powertrain, the E5 is driven by a single motor that sends 150kW (201bhp) and 340Nm of torque to the front wheels – sufficient to whisk it from 0 to 100km/h in a brisk 7.6 seconds. Interestingly, this means that the car retails in Singapore with a Category B COE.

Powered by a 61kWh battery, the crossover can also travel up to 430km on a single charge (WLTP-rated). Said battery is capable of supporting DC charging at up to 80kW, with which its state-of-charge can go from 30 to 80 per cent in just 28 minutes. AC charging at 9.9kW, on the other hand, will see a full recharge completed in eight hours.

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Finally, on the note of being out on the road, the E5 doesn’t just get your standard safety assistance features such as Adaptive Cruise Control and Blind-spot Detection — but is also equipped with more sophisticated types such as a Rear Cross Traffic Braking, Traffic Jam Assistant, and a Door Open Warning, among others.

Sgcarmart was lucky enough to get a few days with the car a month ago — and you can read more about what we think about it here. To return to the present (or future), however, with the new showroom and the OMODA E5 already kicking things off grandly for the brand, Vertex and Chery have already given customers a heads-up for whats to come next.

The showroom’s JAECOO section, unsurprisingly, will not lie fallow for long, as Vertex has promised that another SUV is “set to debut in Singapore later this year”. Our best bets are on the plug-in hybrid JAECOO J7 — already teased previously — which is offered in international markets with a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine mated to an electric motor.

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Even beyond the OMODA E5 and JAECOO J7, another four models are set to arrive still over the next couple of years. These include the plug-in hybrid OMODA O9, the fully-electric JAECOO J5 and J6, as well as the plug-in hybrid JAECOO J8.

That brings the number of models we can expect from the two brands to an impressive total of six by 2025.

The OMODA-JAECOO showroom is now open to the public, and can be visited at 3 Ubi Road 4. Meanwhile, the OMODA E5 is also available for pre-booking in a total of eight colours, with a starting launch price of $179,888 (inclusive of COE).

Car model Price as of press time (including COE)
OMODA E5 61kWh $179,888

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This article was first published in sgCarMart.

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