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Chery ripe for us

Ateco Automotive, which already imports Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Citroen and Fiat is deep in negotiations with a leading Chinese carmaker.

The importer says it aims to show the first model at the next year's Sydney Motor Show in October, before the brand is officially launched a few months later.

Ateco is not providing details, but admits it is working hard on a deal.

Ateco won't comment on which Chinese brand — or brands —— it is negotiating with, but points out it needs a deal with a company that can offer a full suite of light commercial vehicles, an all-wheel-drive wagon and passenger cars.

Chery Automobile is one of the brands most likely to be on its way to Australia. It has a full range of appropriate models and is keen on exports, though it is not the only contender.

Geely Automobile also builds cars and vans, along with Hafei, which could also be in contention.

The brand given the green light for Australia will come with bargain prices to offset concerns about sub-standard design and build.

Ateco is keen to have another budget brand after importing Kia cars from South Korea from 2000 to the end of last year, when Kia Motors took over Australian distribution.