Vantas - a Brand Worth Knowing About?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

It sounds like a European-Australian air carrier, but Vantas is also the name of a new Chinese automotive brand envisioned for the North American market.

The distributor behind the proposed brand should be familiar: California’s HAAH Automotive Holdings, which also plans to introduce the Chinese Zotye brand to the United States. This time, the introduction is an upscale one, with HAAH and China’s Chery Automobile signing a technical cooperation agreement to deliver a new brand, and a new SUV, to U.S. consumers.

In an announcement Monday, HAAH stated, “VANTAS vehicles will be on the Exeed platform, which has been developed with global resources and technologies targeted specifically at United States and Canadian consumers.”

Exeed is a subsidiary of Chery; the holding company claims an upmarket SUV will be the first vehicle it brings to North America.

“The specific model and other details have not been announced yet. Engineering development for homologation in the U.S. market has already begun,” HAAH stated, adding that the model will be “similar, but not identical, to” the Chinese-market Exeed TXL.

In October, HAAH and Zotye USA announced the filling of 100 U.S. dealer markets for that brand’s introduction, citing a 2021 on-sale date.

HAAH CEO Duke Hale told Automotive News at the time, “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,” adding, “Zotye USA happens to be the first brand we’ll represent.”

The Exceed TXL is a long-wheelbase, three-row variant of a midsize crossover that, in stock form, is slightly smaller than a Ford Edge. In the Chinese market, both versions draw power from a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine (197 hp, 214 lb-ft). An underwhelming prospect for American consumers, though parent Chery fields a lineup of engines up to 4.0 liters of displacement.

With two Chinese brands now in line for a U.S. entry via HAAH, the story’s conclusion remains cloaked in haze. No shortage of on-the-ground work must be performed before U.S.-conforming vehicles arrive; even then, there’s still the question of market reception. It remains to be seen whether American buyers are ready to take a Chinese-brand vehicle home, even if offered at a cut-rate price. At the back of many minds will be quality concerns, followed soon after by those relating to the brand’s longevity.

Place your bets.

[Image: Chery Automobile]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Tankinbeans Tankinbeans on Feb 10, 2020

    That might almost look okay if the lower 3/4 of that grille treatment were body colored. I dare say this is slightly less appalling than the facelifted Highlander from the other day. That said, I'm not interested in anything with an L-VIN.

  • RHD RHD on Feb 10, 2020

    Chery is missing an R, Exeed is missing a C, and HAAH has an extra A. They will have to out-Mitsubishi Mitsubishi to sell these things. ("199 down and 199 a month!*) (*for 199 months) They will have a Limited Powertrain Warranty of 36,000 miles or until the Year of the Rat, whichever comes first. The buyers will use it for going to the mall and Wal-Mart, where they can fill their junky Chinese-built car with Chinese-made junk, then off to Kohl's where they can drop off their Chinese-made Amazon junk to have it sent back. Why wouldn't the teenage girl tell her father that her Chinese car had been stolen? ... She was too embarrassed to tell him that someone had taken her Chery.

  • Daniel J Until we get a significant charging infrastructure and change times get under 10 minutes, yes
  • Mike I own 2 gm 6.2 vehicles. They are great. I do buy alot of gas. However, I would not want the same vehicles if they were v6's. Jusy my opinion. I believe that manufacturers need to offer engine options for the customer. The market will speak on what the consumer wants.For example, I dont see the issue with offering a silverado with 4cyl , 6 cyl, 5.3 v8, 6.2 v8, diesel options. The manufacturer will charge accordingly.
  • Mike What percentage of people who buy plug in hybrids stop charging them daily after a few months? Also, what portion of the phev sales are due to the fact that the incentives made them a cheaper lease than the gas only model? (Im thinking of the wrangler 4xe). I wish there was a way to dig into the numbers deeper.
  • CEastwood If it wasn't for the senior property tax freeze in NJ I might complain about this raising my property taxes since most of that tax goes to the schools . I'm not totally against EVs , but since I don't drive huge miles and like to maintain my own vehicles they are not practical especially since I keep a new vehicle long term and nobody has of yet run into the cost of replacing the battery on an EV .
  • Aquaticko Problem with PHEV is that, like EVs, they still require a behavioral change over ICE/HEV cars to be worth their expense and abate emissions (whichever is your goal). Studies in the past have shown that a lot of PHEV drivers don't regularly plug-in, meaning they're just less-efficient HEVs.I'm left to wonder how big a battery a regular HEV could have without needing to be a PHEV.