Guangzhou Automobile Group Motor Co., Ltd. (GAC Motor) makes debut of concept vehicle Entranze during the 2019 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, the United States, Jan. 14, 2019. (Xinhua/Wang Ping)
by Michael Strong
DETROIT, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC) Motor has said it is working on getting its vehicles ready for the U.S. market and plans to begin sales in the first half of 2020.
In an interview with Xinhua, GAC Motor President Yu Jun said that he believes the GAC vehicles have now met the U.S. regulatory standards, while progressive refinement is still in process.
The company is working with the U.S. regulatory agencies to ensure its compliance with requirements, Yu said, adding that once the U.S. regulators confirm that the vehicles are ready, the GAC Motor would begin to carry out its dealers and financing operation.
The company was working to put all the pieces in place, Yu told Xinhua.
The GAC Motor has already established a sales company and opened three research and development centers in the United States, two in California and one in Michigan, which laid a groundwork for setting up a U.S. dealer network in the future, Yu said.
At the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, some 130 dealership representatives expressed their interest in acquiring a GAC dealer franchise, Yu said, adding that "there have been ongoing discussions with them" who represented 30 states and more than 1,100 dealers in the United States.
The GAC Motor sold more than 535,000 vehicles last year in 16 countries. "There are so many uncertainties and unpredictable factors in the U.S. market. We'll continue to work harder to raise our brand awareness in the U.S. market and move toward," Yu said.
Though the company has run into a few stumbling blocks on its path to the U.S. market, it has been closely following the U.S. customers' preferences. Americans are in favor of Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs), crossovers and trucks. Fortunately, GAC makes plenty of sport-utilities, Yu said.
Yu pointed out that the company will rely on its research and development centers to make sure the company was keeping its finger on the pulse of the shifting preferences in the U.S. market.
He expressed hope that the GAC's focus on quality will help it gain the faith of customers.