Chinese auto manufacturer GAC Group planning 2019 entry into U.S. market
GAC Group is back at this year’s North American International Auto Show. The Guangzhou Automobile Company (GAC Motor) introduced a sedan and electric SUV concept in hopes of wooing American automotive press. The Chinese auto conglomerate wants to enter the U.S. market in a big way by 2019. To that end, these models brought to the Motor City have a good chance of ultimately reaching American buyers.
2018 marks the third year GAC has shown their vehicles at the Detroit Auto Show. To date, they wholly represent Chinese automakers as the country’s only exhibitor.
“GAC Motor is proud to unveil our bold additions to the fields of SUVs, sedans, and minivans at NAIAS,” said Yu Jun, President of GAC Motor. “As we execute on our strategy of becoming an automaker with a global reach, we will continue to design products that will meet the different needs of customers worldwide.”
Enverge: GAC’s all-electric SUV concept
At Monday’s press conference in Detroit’s Cobo Center, Feng Xingya, President of GAC Motor company, introduced Enverge, their first SUV designed for the U.S. market. The two-door, electric concept with virtual reality screens embedded in the side windows, has a 71 kWh battery with a range of 370 miles and a wireless charger.
Zhang Fan, Vice President of Engineering, claims a fast charge of 10 minutes will enable the vehicle to travel 240 miles.
GAC GA4 to launch in Shanghai this month
Joining the Enverge on stage is the GA4 midsize sedan, which will launch in Shanghai later this week.
The Enverge concept won’t be production ready when GAC Group begins selling cars in the fourth quarter of 2019. As a result, the first vehicle slated to be sold on U.S. soil will be the GS8. It will face stiff competition as a full-size, three-row, seven passenger SUV. Standout features include LED headlights and taillights, 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels, and an upscale interior featuring an ultra-wide panoramic sunroof.
The details for the powertrain are slim at the moment. However, one option will be a turbocharged inline-4 cylinder engine and six-speed automatic driving the front wheels. An all-wheel-drive variant will also be available.
According to a GAC Motor spokesperson, the company will work with U.S. partners to meet strict NHTSA safety standards on all cars and SUVs targeted for sale in the U.S. market. Currently, GAC Group is negotiating with partner Fiat-Chrysler about possible distribution using their established dealer network.
GAC Group is the fifth largest automobile group in China. On top of that, the company has joint ventures with FCA, Honda, Toyota, and Mitsubishi. In 2017, GAC opened an R&D center in San Jose, California.