China’s GAC Motor Postpones US Launch Due To Trump’s Trade War

First GAC SUV in USA
GAC Entranze electric SUV (Photo: GAC Motor)

Guangzhou-based GAC Motor, China's sixth largest motor vehicle maker, has confirmed it won't launch in the United States this year on account of Trump's trade war against China.

"The current relationship between the U.S. and China, the trade war, the relationship is uncertain," said Hebin Zeng, president of international at GAC Motor. "We postponed the plan to enter the North American market."

"In terms of when we will go into the market, we will have further discussions depending on the changes of circumstances," he said.

Zeng refused to give a specific timeline as to when GAC will enter the U.S. market to launch its electric vehicle (EV) line-up. In January, however, GAC president Yu Jun said GAC Motor hopes to enter the U.S. in the first half of 2020.

GAC Motor (Guangzhou Automobile Group Motor Company) previously said it hoped to start selling its line-up throughout the U.S. in the fourth quarter of 2019. Trump's trade war against China, however, has delayed those plans, said Jun.

"There are a lot of challenges on this journey," said Jun. "It is an uphill battle. ... We have overcome so many difficulties already. So GAC Motor is a company that dares to dream and that dares to forge ahead. ... We believe American consumers will enjoy our products."

GAC operates in 16 countries. In 2018, it sold more than 535,000 cars worldwide, a 5.23 percent year-on-year increase. GAC has already established its U.S. sales company and is beginning to design vehicles at its three U.S. facilities.

Despite the U.S. launch delay, Jun said GAC Motor remains committed to its plans of becoming a global brand.

"It (the U.S.) has the biggest influence on the global auto market," said Jun. "To enter the United States, we can evaluate our own abilities and continue to challenge ourselves and strive for an even better product."

In January, GAC Motor unveiled a prototype of the first car it plans to sell in the U.S. -- the Entranze electric SUV -- at the North American International Auto Show.

GAC Motor said it plans to bring the Entranze into production in the second half of 2020 By 2025, GAC says its entire car line-up will be electric. The Entranze is the first vehicle from GAC Motors' North America design studio in Los Angeles.

The company describes Entranze as the "ultimate road trip vehicle." It features patio-inspired sliding glass doors and a panoramic roof. More than 90 percent of the SuV's interior component is made from environmentally sustainable materials such as cork.

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