China's Zotye Seeks More U.S. Dealers, Parent Company Readies More Brands for North America
Following last week’s announcement that the T600 will serve as the tip of Zotye’s spear, probing into North America, parent company HAAH Automotive Holdings dropped hints that the brand might be one of several Chinese nameplates offered in the United States.
Zotye USA emerged in 2018, after HAAH signed a distributorship agreement with Zotye Automobile International Co. with the clear intent to get its vehicles to market in the Western world. But HAAH CEO Duke Hale claims his company has always had loftier ambitions.
“HAAH Automotive Holdings is a holding company really designed to handle shared services, so IT, legal, finance, HR, parts distribution, those kind of things are housed in HAAH Holdings. That was always the vision,” Hale told Automotive News in a recent interview. “Zotye USA happens to be the first brand we’ll represent.”
There’s nothing official announced, though Hale claims HAAH could manage “two or three brands,” with each receiving its own team of representatives and a distinct dealer network to ensure “no consolidation or coordination between brands.”
Meanwhile, Zotye plans to keep hunting for more places willing to stock its product using no-haggle tactics. Hale said he believes the company will have 250 to 260 open sales points in the U.S. by the time the T600 goes on sale in late 2020.
From Automotive News:
Zotye has continued to recruit dealers since it announced in January at the National Automobile Dealers Association Show in San Francisco that it had signed agreements with 10 dealers for 19 new-vehicle stores.
Today, the company has agreements with 22 dealers for 60 sales points and has another 20 or so points in process, ahead of plan, said Bob Pradzinski, senior vice president of sales for Zotye USA and HAAH.
Hale’s message for America? “Stay tuned” for an announcement regarding a second brand operating under HAAH’s wing. He declined to elaborate further.
[Image: Volha-Hanna Kanashyts/Shutterstock]
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All this chatter for something that will never happen — a Chinese nameplate selling volume in the U.S. auto market. How many times will this story be written? I’ve seen dozens of variations over the past 15 years.
Another manufacturer at the low end of the US market? That Great Wall pickup never arrived. Daewoo and Yugo and Daihatsu didn't last, and Hyundai and Kia only survived by jumping from third-world to first-world quality in five years. I don't see it happening.