China’s Guangzhou Automotive Group Company (GAC) showed a concept SUV at this year’s Detroit auto show that could be the first Chinese designed and built vehicle sold in North America if GAC meets its goal of setting up showrooms here before the end of the decade.
China’s fast-growing auto industry has become a regular presence at the Detroit auto show; this was GAC’s third time there, and the GS7 SUV concept proves the company has been paying at least some attention to what’s tickling the tastes of American motorists: this concept is based on a larger model called the GS8 (pictured above) the automaker revealed at last year’s Beijing Motor Show and that will be sold under GAC’s Trumpchi brand.
In an interview with Automotive News, a GAC exec said either the GS7 or GS8 would be a strong candidate for the company’s big break stateside. What we don’t know is much about what’s underneath the admittedly good-looking — if anonymous — bodywork, which reminds us a bit of something between a Nissan Armada and the Kia Telluride concept. At the GS8’s unveiling, GAC said power comes from a “Ti-POWER320T engine which features a low-inertia E-Turbo turbocharger, GCCS combustion control… and a DCV VT double-span variable valve timing.” We think we know what some of that means.
Right now, GAC says its plan is to enter the U.S. market — if not North America as a whole — in 2019, but admits that’s not a firm date. What’s more certain is the company will open a research facility in California’s Silicon Valley this year, so even if the 2019 plan doesn’t pan out, we’d suggest China’s auto industry is serious about coming our way.
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