Scroll to the Top

Qoros: Your Chinese Drive in 10 Years?


Most Europeans will probably laugh when they discover Chinese car manufacturer Qoros next year, just like they did fifteen years ago with Korean car brands Kia and Hyundai…

Qoros is China’s first attempt at manufacturing¬†quality automobiles for the Chinese and European markets. Gert Volker Hilderbrand leads the design team in developing the brand’s signature design and first production representative model, a compact saloon which will be unveiled at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show alongside two other concept cars that give a glimpse into the future Qoros offering.

The new brand comes with the usual car marketing schpeel. Qoros describes its design style as being “highly expressive” and goes on with how its vehicles suggest “desirable elegance” and “symbolise the dynamic growth of the modern Chinese metropolis represented by Shanghai.” Snooze…

To the European driver (aka moi), the first Qoros sedan pictured below looks like every other Toyota or Kia on the street, which to be fair isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The saloon’s lines are taut, clean, understated and relatively elegant. But I can’t help think Qoros is missing something here.

Hilderbrand who mentions how lucky he is to be starting from a blank canvas with Qoros – no brand or design heritage to incorporate to every new design – is still taking the safe route in my opinion by adopting a similar design language to Kia’s or pretty much every other mainstream manufacturer out there.

The copycat strategy might work in China, but it won’t fool the savvy European consumer. Again, to be fair to Qoros and Hilderbrand, today’s car safety regulations hamper design creativity – a shape like the voluptuous E-type Jag would be impossible to reproduce with today’s regulations – and are most likely hindering Qoro’s design leeway in that respect.

It’s very early days for Qoros and we’ll have to wait and see if they can pull it off. I hope they do, so long as they can find a viable positioning and differentiation – especially in Europe. The fact that Hilderbrand runs the design studio not only from Shanghai but also from Munich demonstrates the brand’s willingness to learn and its eagerness to get closer to the European consumer. In the meantime, here’s to the new Chinese KIA…


Visit the Qoros official site.


Images: courtesy of Qoros