China's Zotye Seeks More U.S. Dealers, Parent Company Readies More Brands for North America

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

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]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • TimK TimK on May 08, 2019

    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.

  • HotPotato HotPotato on May 11, 2019

    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.

    • Slavuta Slavuta on May 14, 2019

      Hyundai and Kia are NOT 1st world. Even 60K Kia Stinger shows its wear under 2 years in. Read long test reports. There is no quality there

  • Jonathan IMO the hatchback sedans like the Audi A5 Sportback, the Kia Stinger, and the already gone Buick Sportback are the answer to SUVs. The A5 and the AWD version of the Stinger being the better overall option IMO. I drive the A5, and love the depth and size of the trunk space as well as the low lift over. I've yet to find anything I need to carry that I can't, although I admit I don't carry things like drywall, building materials, etc. However, add in the fun to drive handling characteristics, there's almost no SUV that compares.
  • C-b65792653 I'm starting to wonder about Elon....again!!I see a parallel with Henry Ford who was the wealthiest industrialist at one time. Henry went off on a tangent with the peace ship for WWI, Ford TriMotor, invasive social engineering, etc. Once the economy went bad, the focus fell back to cars. Elon became one of the wealthiest industrialist in the 21st century. Then he went off with the space venture, boring holes in the ground venture, "X" (formerly Twitter), etc, etc, etc. Once Tesla hit a plateau and he realized his EVs were a commodity, he too is focused on his primary money making machine. Yet, I feel Elon is over reacting. Down sizing is the nature of the beast in the auto industry; you can't get around that. But hacking the Super Charger division is like cutting off your own leg. IIRC, GM and Ford were scheduled to sign on to the exclusive Tesla charging format. That would have doubled or tripled his charging opportunity. I wonder what those at the Renaissance Center and the Glass House are thinking now. As alluded to, there's blood in the water and other charging companies will fill the void. I believe other nations have standardized EV charging (EU & China). Elon had the chance to have his charging system as the default in North America. Now, he's dropped the ball. He's lost considerable influence on what the standardized format will eventually be. Tremendous opportunity lost. 🚗🚗🚗
  • Tassos I never used winter tires, and the last two decades I am driving almost only rear wheel drive cars, half of them in MI. I always bought all season tires for them, but the diff between touring and non touring flavors never came up. Does it make even the smallest bit of difference? (I will not read the lengthy article because I believe it does not).
  • Lou_BC ???
  • Lou_BC Mustang sedan? 4 doors? A quarterhorse?Ford nomenclature will become:F Series - Pickups Raptor - performance division Bronco - 4x4 SUV/CUVExplorer - police fleetsMustang- cars