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Chery pickup 2025: Ranger and Hilux rival looms closer – report

Olek Novak

The budget brand is deep in development of a ute which would bolster its Australian lineup significantly

Chinese automaker Chery is reportedly a step closer to entering the ute market with an as yet unnamed body-on-frame competitor to the top-selling Ranger and Hilux in Australia.

Automotive publication CarScoops reports that we can expect a reveal in the coming months for the vehicle that is currently in development prior to it going on sale in early 2025, according to sources inside Chery.

The report speculates that petrol, hybrid and electric powertrains will be offered, however no details have been confirmed officially. 

Chery Tiggo 7 Pro 2024 badge
Chery will reportedly launch a Ranger and Hilux rivalling ute by 2025

It’s understood that the vehicle – which would sit under the Chery nameplate in Australia – would fall under the automaker’s commercial vehicle-focused ‘Karry’ sub-brand overseas.

While this would be the manufacturer’s first ute in Australia, it has previously sold utes such as the Higgo and Aika overseas as part of the Karry brand and also currently sells the ‘Yoki’, though none of these have made their way to Australia.

The expansion by Chery into the ute market is seen as a key part of its growth in global markets such as Australia, where Chery re-launched last year after exiting the market in 2015.

2023 Chery Omoda 5 front 3/4 pic 2
Chery relaunched into the Australian market with the Omoda 5 small SUV (pictured) last year

Indeed, Chery Australia has previously indicated its appetite for a ute to join its expanding local lineup. 

If this came to fruition, Chery would be armed with a vehicle in each of the biggest-selling segments in Australia. 

The brand currently operates a two-vehicle lineup including the Omoda 5 small SUV that began domestic sale in March last year that was followed by the recent launch of the Tiggo 7 Pro midsize SUV. The Tiggo 8 Pro large SUV is also confirmed to be coming to Australia.

Chery Tiggo 7 Pro 2024 front 3/4 2
Chery’s current two-vehicle lineup in Australia also includes the Tiggo 7 Pro midsize SUV

The significance of joining the ute market in Australia cannot be understated, with the three most popular vehicles domestically – the Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux and Isuzu D-Max pickups – all falling into the category.

Just under 250,000 utes were sold in Australia in 2023, representing almost a fifth of all new vehicles delivered. 

2023 Ford Ranger Raptor in code orange with a black leather interior
The Ford Ranger pickup claimed the title as Australia’s most popular vehicle in 2023

The heavy competition within the segment is set to intensify even further this year, with BYD set to launch an anticipated hybrid and electric ute, as well as JAC with the delayed launch of its T9 ute which will eventually be available in petrol, hybrid and electric powertrain too.

However, it’s not just Chinese brands getting in on the action – Korean automaker Kia will also enter the lucrative market in 2025 with their upcoming Tasman ute too. 

2024 BYD ute patent image front 3/4
Patent images of the BYD ute set to launch this year (Image Credit: CarNewsChina)

The Chery ute would join other Chinese utes currently offered in Australia including the GWM Ute and LDV T60 Max, as well as other budget-friendly options like the Korean-built SsangYong Musso

With a jam-packed year of car launches coming up, you can stay up to date with the Chasing Cars 2024 new car calendar.

Correction: a previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the SsangYong Musso was of Chinese origin when the ute is actually built in Korea; this article has been updated to reflect this fact.