Thumbs Down: China's GAC Motor Throws U.S. Push Onto the Back Burner

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
thumbs down chinas gac motor throws u s push onto the back burner

Guangzhou Automobile Group, better known as GAC Motor, has delayed plans to commence sales of Chinese-branded cars in the United States. Apparently, there’s some kind of trade dispute between the the two countries that influenced the company’s decision.

However, back in 2018, GAC Motor was at the North American International Auto Show telling yours truly that it planned to ship product to the U.S. as early as the following year (as PR reps simultaneously requested we stop commenting on the faux tailpipes we noticed on several models).

Months later, GAC revised its business plan. The entry into the America market would come closer to 2020, it said. Now, the automaker claims the trade war has forced it to postpone things even further. This time, there’s no target.

“The current relationship between the U.S. and China, the trade war, makes the relationship is uncertain,” Zeng Hebin, president of international sales, said in a corporate address. “We’ve postponed the plan to enter the North American market.”

In a separate statement to Bloomberg, GAC explained its reasoning, similarly claiming that “the escalation of China-US trade frictions” and other “uncertainties” influenced its decision.

Unlike the previous delays, GAC provided no revised timeline for its move to America. Interesting, considering it already courted the National Automobile Dealers Association in the hopes of establishing a regional sales network. In January, GAC announced it would establish its U.S. headquarters in Irvine, CA.

It could mean the automaker is throwing in the towel, though a more likely scenario is that diplomatic tensions (and resulting tariffs) simply reached a point where it no longer makes any sense to issue bold promises.

Chinese manufacturers have spent years promising to make inroads into the U.S., with zero automakers achieving their ultimate goal. While some have gotten closer than others — namely Volvo-parent Geely, Zotye, and Great Wall Motors — by setting up trade show displays and establishing R&D centers or corporate HQs in the U.S., none would admit whether the trade dispute has forced them to alter their strategies when questioned.

[Image: GAC Motor]

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4 of 17 comments
  • MotorCityMotorhead MotorCityMotorhead on May 23, 2019

    Face it boys and girls, we are in a long term cultural/geopolitical struggle with the bad guys who run the Chinese Government. The Chinese Communists want it both ways, they love $$, but they also love silencing their opponents and dragging them away in the middle of the night, to be sent away to reeducation camps. Supporting their propped up companies peddling their substandard products is lunacy, and will do nothing for our country, or for you in the long run. They mean to do us harm in any way possible, AND they take the long view. So yeah, I am not down with their cheating, their lying, their stealing of our Intellectual Property, and their forcing foreign companies doing business in China to do so at the point of a gun (51% forced Chinese ownership), forcing the free handover of knowledge, processes and information to gain access to their market. We should learn that our thought and negotiation processes of trying to get something done in the next 72 hours is not shared by the Asians, and plan accordingly. The Donald is the first person at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. who gets it, and it is sad that our previous Administrations were complete fools in negotiating with the Chinese. Keep hammering them into the ground, and hold them fully accountable for their behavior.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on May 23, 2019

    We are now at the point where many of the things we buy are made in China. We have become dependent on China for many of our consumer goods. Agree this is not a good thing and China is not our friend. It use to be that Chinese goods were much cheaper but that is no longer true for many of the consumer goods we buy. If someone really wants to buy a Chinese made vehicle look no further than the Buick Envision--GM at its best. Even much of the outdoor power equipment is either made in China or has Chinese components. I have a Troy-Bilt rear engine riding mower and the engine is made in China.

    • CobraJet CobraJet on May 23, 2019

      And the Chinese are so proud of it. They slap big labels on everything "MADE IN CHINA". I have a standby generator made by Cummins that has a natural gas fired Briggs and Stratton V twin engine. Still under warranty and it got to where it would not start when needed. The company came out and replaced the starter motor. Sure enough, MADE IN CHINA. While there they changed the Autolite spark plugs. Again, MADE IN CHINA.

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