First U.S.-spec models could arrive as soon as 2018!

Rumors of Chinese carmakers preparing to start selling vehicles in the U.S. have been floating around for quite a few years, but it has yet to happen as of early 2017. However, with Qoros having already launched its products in Europe and with other companies rolling out increasingly better cars, that specific moment seems to be getting closer. How closer is the U.S. to welcoming a Chinese brand? Well, visitors at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show just witnessed the first automaker from the world’s most populous country display the vehicles it plans to launch in North America.

The company in question is GAC Motor, a large automotive group that sells passenger cars under the Trumpchi brand, cars and commercial vehicles under the Gonow brand, and SUVs as Changfeng Motor. GAC also runs joint-ventures with Fiat, Honda, Mitsubishi, and Toyota in China, building the Dodge Dart-based Fiat Viaggio and Toyota Camry, among other cars, for the Chinese market.

At the 2017 Detroit Motor Show, GAC decided to showcase its U.S.-bound models using the Trumpchi brand (cue the Donald Trump jokes!) Established in 2010, Trumpchi launched its first vehicle, a sedan based on the old Alfa Romeo 166 (discontinued in 2007), ahead of the 2010 Asian Games. Since then, the brand also introduced a hatchback and a couple of crossovers. Interestingly enough, Trumpchi has already made its debut on U.S. soil, having showcased a hybrid sedan at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. This time around, the Chinese brand brought no fewer than three cars to Cobo Center.

Trumpchi’s lineup for the show included the GS7 crossover, the EnSpirit plug-in hybrid concept, and the GE3 electric hatchback. All three cars boast modern exterior designs and some of them even have a few unique features, but nothing very impressive to talk about. The GS7 looks like the kind of boxy crossover some American’s may buy, while the EnSpirit has a sportier design. Then there’s the GE3 EV, which blends traditional small crossover cues with the looks of a kei car, which isn’t a very fortunate combination to be honest.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any actual details about these vehicles available right now, but only the GS7 appears to be ready for production, with both the EnSpirit and GE3 still in concept form. However, GAC did say that it’s planning to release its vehicles in the North American market in 2018, "after the market survey, obtaining certification and regulation and communicating with potential dealers."

Continue reading for the full story.

Why It Matters

Chinese Automaker Brings Three Cars to Detroit, Announces U.S. Market Assault High Resolution Exterior
- image 700965
Chinese Automaker Brings Three Cars to Detroit, Announces U.S. Market Assault High Resolution Exterior
- image 700964

Given the poor performance, awful designs, cheap interiors, and not-so-great technology most Chinese cars from the past are known for, it’s easy to laugh at brand like Trumpchi and bet against any kind of success the brand may have in North America. However, China’s industry has evolved dramatically in just about any sector in recent years, and its automotive companies are rolling out better and better products. Coming to the U.S. in 2018 will be no walk in the park though, especially with North America’s increasingly stricter safety, emissions, and fuel economy standards, but it will be interesting to see how GAC manages to keep its promise. Chinese cars in the U.S. may be a total fiasco, but a good market strategy and competitive prices could also bring a breath of fresh air in certain segments.

Press Release

The only Chinese automaker to exhibit at the 2017 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) at Cobo Center in Detroit, US, GAC MOTOR is also making history as the first Chinese automaker to present on the main show floor.

The company will continue breaking new grounds at the 2017 NAIAS by debuting three innovative new vehicles, including a hybrid crossover concept car, a new SUV and the first electric vehicle that represent the highest level of GAC Engineering’s independent research and development as well as unparalleled technological capabilities. The upcoming launch ceremony on January 9 is drawing attention from leading media organizations worldwide.

GAC MOTOR made their world premiere at the 2015 NAIAS and debuted the now best-selling GS4, demonstrating a world-class auto brand that thrives to meet the expectations of consumers around the world.

  The NAIAS is a global stage for companies to debut brand defining vehicles and technologies, the trade show has the largest concentration of the world’s top automotive and technology executives, designers, engineers and thought leaders.

  “The US has one of the most developed auto industries in the world with a hundred years of auto history and culture, people have reached social consensus in the essential attributes of cars, and high-quality auto products have very broad market space,” said Yu Jun, general manager of GAC MOTOR. “GAC MOTOR is dedicated to bringing the elite vehicles to global consumers as we expand our brand in the overseas market.”

  GAC MOTOR has achieved more than 80 percent average compound annual growth rate for six consecutive years. The company has sold 370,000 vehicles in 2016, a 97 percent year-on-year increase that makes the company the fastest growing auto brand in China while establishing sales and services networks in 14 countries as the company expands further in the international market, including the recent mega launch events of GS4 in Bahrain and Nigeria and tripling the number of cars sold in Bahrain a year after entering the market as the best-selling Chinese auto brand in the country.

  Centered on GAC Automotive Engineering Institute, GAC MOTOR has expanded a global automotive R&D network supported by the company’s technology center, top global suppliers and research institutes. In addition to the major new vehicle launch at the NAIAS, GAC MOTOR is also planning to release their vehicles in the North American market in 2018 after the market survey, obtaining certification and regulation and communicating with potential dealers.

  “By emphasizing on independent and innovative research, adhering to the highest international standards in product quality and establishing world-class car manufacturing systems, we’ve gained trust from more than 800,000 car owners worldwide, and we will continue bringing our brand to more consumers globally with new products and events,” remarked Yu.

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: