Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., which is eager to break into the U.S. market, used a press conference at the North American International Auto Show to announce that it plans to open Research and Development center in the U.S.
The center will open this year, probably with a few months, GAC.
The location of the center hasn’t been announced yet but chances are it will be either in California or in Michigan where several Chinese companies linked to the auto industry, including Nexteer and SAIC have opened offices in recent years.
GAC also said the opening of the center is first step to GAC ambitious plans to see vehicle in the U.S. The likely timetable for entry into the U.S. market is about three, said GAC officials as they showed off the new stand in Detroit.
(Takata expected to pay $1 billion in airbag settlement. For more, Click Here.)
GAC has long been thinking about selling cars in the United States. In 2016 they said they would start in 2017, but that has now been postponed to 2019 at the earliest.
On the new stand, the automaker reveals three new vehicles here, including a hybrid-electric concept it calls the EnSpiit, an electric vehicle named the GE3 and its exhibit centerpiece: a midsize crossover vehicle dubbed the GS7.
The GS7, given the demand for crossovers, is the most likely candidate for sales in the U.S. and the exteriors of the vehicles on the GAC stand is impressive, given where the Chinese carmaker were a decade ago when the fit and finish was nowhere near global standards.
(Honda’s Takata problems continue with recall of 1.29 million vehicles. For more, Click Here.)
GAC is a major partner of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.in China it also has joint ventures wit Honda, Toyota and Mitsubishi. Based in Southern China, which is the cradle of the Chinese export industries around over the years. It is eager to become an international company, according to GAC President Feng Xingya.
GAC is targeting selling between 5%-10% of it’s for export markets by 2020. It already sells vehicles in 14 different countries around the world and is planning to enter additional market in the near future. GAC now builds 1.6 million vehicles through its various joint ventures and another 380,000 on its own account.
(Fiat Chrysler latest to be accused of rigging diesel emissions tests. Click Here for the story.)
Under its current five-year plan, GAC expects to have the capacity to build 3 million vehicles and plans to sell 2.4 million annually, pushing the company’s annual revenue to more than $53 billion, according to information handed out during the NAIAS press conference.