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The $9990 Chery J1 and fellow Chinese import, the Great Wall X240, have been forced out of the Australian market after failing to comply with new mandatory electronic stability control (ESC) laws.

The law, which mandates that ESC must be fitted to all new passenger vehicles sold from November 1, has also led to the discontinuation of the Suzuki Jimny, which has been on sale in its current generation since 1998.

The law bans manufacturers from importing new vehicles without ESC, though allows the sale of vehicles imported before this month.


Spokesman for Chery and Great Wall importer Ateco Automotive, Daniel Cotterill, confirmed it would not import any more J1 city cars and X240 SUVs.

Chery will continue to sell the J3 small car and J11 SUV, both of which have been upgraded with standard ESC, while the diesel-powered version of Great Wall’s SUV, the X200, also comes with the potentially life-saving technology and remains on sale.

Cotterill says a new model, the Great Wall H6 manual, will replace the X240 in the first quarter of 2014, with an automatic version to follow late next year.

He said a replacement for the Chery J1 was on the local distributor’s radar, though would not be considered for our market until further down the track.


Sales of the Chery J1 – Australia’s cheapest car with a four-figure driveaway price tag – totalled just 165 to the end of September, less than half the number it managed over the same period in 2012. Great Wall X240 sales have also more than halved this year, down from 849 to 340.

Suzuki Jimny sales have actually increased four per cent this year to 725. A successor to the Suzuki Jimny, previewed by the Suzuki iV-4 concept, is confirmed to launch internationally in 2015.

  • Jack

    The Jimny will be missed due to its strong off road abilty. The rest, well, good riddance.

    • Jimmy

      I look forward to when they return though, with safety up to standard.

  • Golfschwein

    See ya! Wouldn’t wanna be ya!

  • MisterZed

    Meanwhile vehicles without ESC have been banned in Victoria since January 1, 2011 – nearly *3 years* now. Way to go rest of Australia for catching up to us.

    • TG

      That’s for new vehicles on sale. There’s still plenty of VR/VS/VT etc. Commodores getting round on Victorian roads. 😛

      • MisterZed

        I know. My point is, the rest of the country is 3 years behind Victoria.

        • matt

          Lol typical smug viccy attitude, if you guys knew how to drive a vehicle we wouldn’t need ESC.

  • amlohac

    Atteco say in one breath they are commited to sell cars in this country yet they wont come to the party so make their cars safer? Good riddance to that Cherry heap of so and so. Theres much better vehicles to choose from in this market

  • GIG

    I have to charge $9990 to own one of these Cherys.

  • John of Perth

    So what did we ever do without ESC – do the stats support mandatory ESC; not saying it isn’t helpful, but doesn’t it come back to driving sensibly in the first place ?

    Has anyone experienced a tyre blowout over 100km/hr? Did ESC or lack of, make a difference? Has anyone had to avoid a kangaroo at speed and not braked first rather than allow ESC to help steer around & take appropriate avoidance action? Would you take violent evasive action at speed without touching the brakes and relying on ESC/ESP?

    Driver training which allows one to experience ESC and ABS should be mandatory.

  • LC

    Sad to see the Jimny leave. There’s nothing else like it on the Aussie market at the price, all your 4wd thrills for the price of a Corolla. Now buyers looking for a 4wd , not a jacked-up station wagon or hatchback, would end up going to the used car market, where it’s a minefield of under-loved, thrashed vehicles, or having to fork out roughly $40,000 extra for a Prado.

    As for the other two, good riddance to bad rubbish. Chinese made vehicles may be cheap to buy, but their quality sucks they’ll all end up on scrap heaps before the end of the decade.

    • Velsig

      They could possibly go for the Grand Vitara 3 door. It just doesn’t have as much character as the Jimny.