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    Guangzhou Auto Group looks to crack US market
      Release time: 2017/01/10 10:35:00  Author: 

    Guangzhou Automobile Group Co, which produces cars in China with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, plans to start exporting its own brand of automobiles to the US next year and become the first Chinese carmaker to begin retail sales to US consumers.

    GAC, which created its Trumpchi brand in 2010 after being a production partner for foreign carmakers for more than a decade, will start a research and development center in Silicon Valley in the first half of this year to prepare for the company's entry to the US, the company's President Feng Xingya said.

    "Exporting to the US is a key part of our efforts to become a global player and success in North America is a vital yardstick," Feng said in an interview in Detroit on Jan 8. "We won't ship our cars here before we are fully confident that our cars would nail it."

    Chinese automakers have set their sights on breaking into the US retail market with their own brands for a long time, with the Warren Buffett-backed BYD Co and Volvo Cars owner Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co declaring their US ambitions at least nine years ago. Neither have been able to meet that target, though BYD has begun to sell electric buses to fleet owners in the US and Volvo Cars is exporting made-in-China vehicles to US showrooms.

    For GAC, a successful entry will mark the culmination of at least five years of preparation. The Guangzhou, China-based company is working to develop models tailored for the US market to ensure their cars will appeal to local consumers and meet all regulatory requirements, Feng said.

    GAC's export plan comes as competition in China intensifies, with demand expected to grow at a slower pace. While Chinese automakers like Great Wall Motor Co and Chongqing Changan Automobile Co have been exporting to overseas markets, GAC would be the first to take a brand to developed markets with stricter emission and fuel-economy rules.

    The company almost doubled its delivery of Trumpchi vehicles last year to more than 380,000 units on the popularity of its GS4 and GS8 sport utility vehicles. The automaker expects to have about 10 percent of Trumpchi sales from overseas markets by 2020.

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