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GAC exports the made-in-China Trumpchi to Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Chile. At home, the six-year-old brand has sold 800,000 units. The 2018 GAC Trumpchi GS4 SUV, which starts at 99,800 yuan ($14,600), is the second-best-selling sport utility vehicle in China after Great Wall Motor’s Haval H6.
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The 2018 GAC Trumpchi GS4 is a compact SUV that first launched by Guangzhou Auto (GAC) in Jan. 2015 at the North America Auto Show. Release is scheduled in April 2015. The 1st Generation will have Two engine options, a 1.3T and 1.5T, mated to a 7DCT.
The Yema T80 SUV has been launched on the Chinese car market, the first new Yema since the T70, which was launched back in January 2016. The T80 comes with a distinctive grille, a sharply cut bonnet, and sporty five spoke wheels. Price starts at 89.900 yuan and ends at 139.800 yuan. The T80 stands on a slightly stretched variant of the platform that also underpins the T70. Engines: a 150hp 1.5 turbo mated to a five-speed manual or a 218hp 2.0 turbo mated to a 6-speed DCT. Power goes to the front wheels only. Size: 4650/1835/1716, wheelbase is 2665. It is however not entirely sure whether the 2.0 turbo is really available yet. Every photo of every test car or media car I have seen so far shows the 1.5 turbo with the manual box. The 2.0 turbo is a new engine for Yema, so perhaps they are still working on it. A very nice interior with beige orange seats, a plastic-metal trim on the dashboard, three big round air vents in the center stack topped by a 10 inch touch screen, a fully digital instrument panel, and perforated pedals for extra speed. The T80 is a five-seater. There seems to be a lot of space for the legs and heads. The new Yema T80 for China. A good looking car with a fine interior. But the lack of an automatic for the 1.5 turbo will hamper sales, and the 2.0 turbo, if it really exists, seems rather expensive.
The Chinese automaker that unveiled a fish-tank armrest at this year’s Detroit auto show would like to sell Americans an SUV in 2017. It would cost 30 percent less than a comparable Toyota RAV4, plus its maker claims it’ll be more efficient, powerful, and roomier—although it will come sans the aquarium in the back seat.
Those claims come from an Automotive News interview with Guangzhou Automobile Group Company general manager Wu Song. Guangzhou Automobile Group Company, or GAC Group, is one of many state-owned Chinese automakers that want to crack the U.S. market with cheap cars. Song is “90 percent confident” that the new Trumpchi GS4—a surprisingly not-ugly SUV with vague Hyundai and Nissan overtones—will be sold in the U.S., and the company has begun looking for U.S. dealers.
In order to gain any market traction, however, GAC would have to offer low-ball pricing, likely below cost, much as the Japanese brands did when they first arrived here in the 1960s. In its home market, the Trumpchi GS4 packs 1.3- and 1.5-liter four-cylinder engines and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and sells for between $16,000 and $24,000.
Of course, Chinese automakers have been telling us for more than a decade that they would set up showrooms and offer us insane deals on cars that would comply with all federal mandates. So far, however, their efforts have been small. Chinese auto parts supplier Wanxiang owns Fisker, Geely owns Volvo, and GAC itself has four joint-venture manufacturing contracts in China to build Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi, and Fiat models. Uber drivers in Chicago can lease a BYD e6 right now, albeit at ridiculously high prices.
No doubt, Chinese-brand cars will make it here at some point. But we wonder: Will a 30-percent discount be enough to get Americans to take a flier on a newcomer from China?