This Chinese Automaker May Have a Hard Time Selling its Cars in the US.. if it Sticks to its Name
Put this news item up on a pedestal in the “LOL wing” of the Irony Hall of Fame.by Kirby Garlitos, on
Chinese automaker GAC Motors has made no bones about its plan to enter the US market. It was even in attendance at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show promoting its flagship brand, Trumpchi, which it plans to introduce in this region after sales in the local Chinese market surged because of improved product quality. The company was looking for some positive feedback in Detroit and while it did get a lot of what it was looking for, it wasn’t for the reason that it had hoped. Now it appears that GAC Motor is looking to change the Trumpchi name before entering the US market for the exact reason that most of you are probably thinking about right now.
You don’t need to be an expert in phonetics to realize that the Trumpchi name bears an almost identical similarity to Donald Trump, the current commander-in-chief of America. While there’s nothing implicitly wrong about it, the unintended association to the polarizing US president is a gamble that GAC is not to keen to make, especially after the reception it received in Detroit, which made the company realize that the current name “might not be very positive promotion for the brand.” It’s still unclear if GAC will push forward with the move, but considering the publicity it already received because of it, there’s a good chance that we’ll see Trumpchi sporting a different name by the time it enters the US market. Speaking of which, GAC Motors still has plans to bring the brand to the US in 2019. Just don’t expect it to be called Trumpchi by then.
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Nobody could’ve expected this to happen
This news might seem funny to a lot of people - and it is to a certain extent - but this could be a real problem for GAC Motors because of the costs that come with outrightly changing a brand’s name. I don’t foresee it becoming too big of a deal in the long run, but it’s a headache that GAC probably didn’t expect would happen.
Still, it’s still pretty funny to read the reaction GAC Motor Design Director Zhang Fan had at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show when he described the scene to Reuters. "We saw people were laughing at this and took pictures looking only at this detail, and also put on Facebook or other websites," Zhang told the news agency. ”When we read all that feedback, we realized it might not be very positive promotion for the brand.
The company also added that the similarity between the Trumpchi name with Donald Trump, who built his empire on the back of his last name, is a “complete coincidence,” adding that the automaker “didn’t have the slightest idea” that Trump would not only become the US president, but more importantly, he’d be so polarizing since assuming the highest government post in the country.
Whatever the case may be, GAC Motors looks to be considering changing the name for its own interest. At this point, it may not be the worst idea in the world, especially if it’s serious about breaking into the US market. The groundswell of opposition towards the current president is growing and using a name that reminds them of a president they don’t agree with is the kind of brand association that GAC Motors and Trumpchi could do well without. Only time will tell if GAC Motors actually does it, but don’t be surprised if they end up going ahead with it.