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New Chinese carmaker eyes European market

Colleen Barry, AP Business Writer

The new Chinese Brand Car Qoros is on display during the press day at the 83rd Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, March 5, 2013. The Motor Show will open its gates to the public from 7th to 17th March presenting more than 260 exhibitors and more than 130 world and European premieres. (AP Photo/Keystone, Sandro Campardo)

GENEVA (AP) -- A Geneva Motor Show newcomer is threatening to shake up the European automotive industry.

Qoros, a joint venture between Chinese carmaker Chery Automobile Ltd. and an Israeli investor, previewed a compact sedan at the Geneva show that it aims to launch in eastern Europe later this year.

Qoros Vice Chairman Volker Steinwascher, a former VW executive, said the car "from a technical point of view is very European," designed, engineered and styled in Europe.

He put total investments — including building the Chinese factory, platform development and design — at under €1 billion ($1.3 billion), not far from what established car companies spend for platform development alone.

The car will sell for under €20,000, with modest volumes to start. But Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne, for one, acknowledged competitive concern.