Chinese-Made Trumpchi Cars Coming to U.S. in 2019
GAC Motors expects to start shipping cars to the US in 2019 but will probably change the name from Trumpchi first.
Here in America we’ve grown accustomed to goods made in China. We walk around in Chinese-made shoes, talking on Chinese-made phones through Chinese-made headphones. There’s one major industry where the average American consumer really hasn’t made the leap. That’s the auto industry. However, that may be about to change.
According to The New York Times, Chinese automaker GAC Motor is planning to begin selling cars in the US by the end of 2019. The company hopes to be the first Chinese car brand to take off in the U.S. It just has one tiny detail to work out: the name.
Currently GAC Motor cranks out cars under the moniker, Trumpchi. That’s right, various Trumpchi models have been rolling through the streets in China for the last seven years. They’ve gained a following in China as well, with their GS8 midsized SUV a big hit. The company plans to bring over the GS8 along with its new GM8 minivan.
The company is also planning to unveil electric vehicles for export to the United States as well as Europe. They’re hoping to benefit from the $7,500 tax credit currently in place for electric car buyers stateside. This would act as a subsidy for them to gain a foothold in the US market.
GAC Motor is looking to possibly relate the name used in the U.S. to the meaning of Trumpchi in China. Company officials say that Trumpchi sounds a little like a phrase which can be translated to “passing on happiness” in English. The company expects to have the brand’s new name ready for the Detroit auto show this January.
Speaking on the naming conundrum Robert C Maling Jr., a retired Lexus exec who an adviser to GAC, said, “There’s no Obama-mobile, that’s a cultural thing, there’s no Clinton car. It would be confusing to the American public to have the Trumpchi name.”
Regardless of what the name is, Chinese cars will have a tough time cracking the U.S. auto industry. With the amount of tariff protection they receive on mainland China, they really don’t have to come to the U.S. to make money. I can tell you, there is a zero percent chance of me trading in my American-made car for a Chinese import.