Chinese state-owned automaker Guangzhou Automobile Group Corp (GAC)'s passenger vehicle arm, GAC Motor, has launched three models under its Trumpchi brand at this year's North American International Auto Show (8−22 January) in Detroit, United States. The company has used the US show to launch the new GS7 sport utility vehicle (SUV), the GE3 electric vehicle, and the EnSpirit SUV concept. "We are building a world-class system for auto manufacturing, ensuring the high quality of GAC products. Our pursuit for perfection is consistently reflected in every car we manufacture," said Yu Jun, general manager of GAC Motor, at the NAIAS launch event. GAC's models are destined for the US market as soon as 2018, according to GAC vice-president of design Zhang Fan, reports Autoblog. GAC also plans a research-and-development centre in the US, which will be established in the first half of 2017, the company states in a press release. "We believe China's automobiles will be more frequently seen on the world stage in the future," said Feng Xingya, president of GAC Group.
Significance: GAC has yet to release full model specifications of the SUVs revealed at the Detroit show. However, the automaker has in recent months been building up its presence in markets outside China, but mainly restricted to emerging markets such as those in Africa and the Middle East, and there are reports of plans to open a production base in Russia . GAC launched the seven-seater GS8 SUV in China in the fourth quarter of 2016, adding to its line-up of models in the GS range under its Trumpchi brand. Last year, GAC also began semi-knocked down (SKD) production in Nigeria as part of plans to gain ground outside China. IHS Automotive's current light-vehicle sales forecasts do not show any Guangzhou Auto models in the US in the immediate future, despite the automaker's plans to launch there next year. The reason behind the general lack of presence of Chinese brands in the forecast for the US market relates to the fact that a number of automakers have made strong statements about plans to enter that market, none of which have so far materialised. GAC announced last year that it aims to sell models in the US with a 30% price advantage, and there was talk in 2014 of GAC exporting Chinese-made models to the US market.
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The above article is from IHS Automotive Same-Day Analysis of automotive news, events and trends, and is a deliverable of the World Markets Automotive Service. The service averages thirty stories per day and also provides competitor and country intelligence. Get a free trial.