Calif. com­pany to sell China-de­signed SUVs

Antelope Valley Press - - NEWS -

DETROIT (AP) — A Cal­i­for­nia com­pany says it will build and sell Chi­nese-de­signed automobile­s in the U.S. at the end of next year or early in 2022.

HAAH Automotive Hold­ings says it has an agree­ment with large Chi­nese au­tomaker Ch­ery Au­to­mo­bile to pro­vide the ve­hi­cles, which will be as­sem­bled in a U.S. fac­tory. HAAH says the first ve­hi­cle sold will be a mid­size SUV.

It’s the lat­est ef­fort to bring pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cles de­signed in China to the United States, but other ef­forts so far have seen limited success. GAC Mo­tor of China has ap­peared at the last two Detroit auto shows to tout plans to en­ter the Amer­i­can mar­ket. But its plans have been de­layed un­til June of this year.

Gen­eral Mo­tors Co. and Swe­den’s Volvo Cars ex­port Chi­nese-made ve­hi­cles to the United States. China’s BYD Auto sells bat­tery-pow­ered buses to U.S. tran­sit com­pa­nies.

Other Chi­nese brands have an­nounced U.S. sales plans but have strug­gled to meet safety and emis­sions stan­dards.

HAAH of Irvine, Cal­i­for­nia, says it will sell Geely-de­signed au­tos un­der the Van­tas brand name. The com­pany will de­velop a U.S. deal­er­ship net­work and have flex­i­ble on­line sales. HAAH will be re­cruit­ing deal­ers at the Na­tional Au­to­mo­bile Deal­ers As­so­ci­a­tion con­ven­tion, which starts later this week in Las Ve­gas.

Ch­ery and HAAH are re­view­ing sites for a U.S. fac­tory but have not reached a de­ci­sion, the com­pany said. It is con­sid­er­ing ex­ist­ing build­ings as well as un­de­vel­oped sites.

Ini­tially the SUVs will be as­sem­bled from kits to hit HAAH’s on-sale tar­get date. But the plant will move to full man­u­fac­tur­ing over time, HAAH said. The com­pany didn’t give an es­ti­mate of how many people the fac­tory will em­ploy.

HAAH also has a part­ner­ship with Chi­nese au­tomaker Zo­tye Auto, which plans to start sell­ing ve­hi­cles in the United States in 2020.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

In this April 25, 2018, file photo a staff mem­ber stands next to a Tiggo 8 SUV by Chi­nese au­tomaker Ch­ery af­ter a press con­fer­ence at the China Auto Show in Bei­jing.

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