Automobile Group Co. is putting the brakes on plans to become the first
manufacturer to start selling Chinese-branded cars in the U.S., citing
the trade dispute between the world¡¯s two biggest economies.
Motor, as the company is known, aimed to sell cars in America in
early 2020 but is now postponing that target as tariffs threaten to make light-vehicle imports from China more expensive. The company cited ¡°the
escalation of China-U.S. trade frictions¡± and distribution
¡°uncertainties¡± in a statement on Wednesday.
The company announced
several years ago it intended to become the first Chinese automaker to
crack the U.S. market, and has been working on product modifications to
appeal to American tastes. The company has made changes to the GS8, a
seven-passenger crossover sold in China, to meet
more-stringent U.S. emissions and crash standards.
automakers have had ambitions to sell cars and light trucks in the U.S. going back more
than a decade, yet none of the plans have come to fruition so far. GAC,
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co.¡¯s Lynk & CO. brand, Great Wall
Motor Co. and Zotye Automobile Co. are among Chinese manufacturers that
have expressed interest to expand in the U.S., exhibiting in the
country¡¯s auto shows and setting up local sales units and r&d operations.
Great Wall, an SUV maker that
has been reviewing options for how to build vehicles in the U.S., said
it had no immediate comment on whether it is adjusting its plans for
America. BYD Co., which makes electric buses in the U.S., said it has no
immediate information on whether its business has been impacted by the
Geely, which has been aiming to start selling Lynk
& CO. cars in the U.S. next year, is evaluating its plan for North
America, a spokesman said.