Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC) is one of many Chinese carmakers aspiring to sell cars in the United States. In order to achieve that goal, the company’s general manager, Wu Song, says his cars will have to be priced 30 percent cheaper than rivals in the same segment.
GAC plans to launch the GS4 crossover in the United States sometime in 2017. “We are confident. It could be popular in the market. Considering the low price, it should be competitive,” Wu told Automotive News at the Shanghai Auto Show.
The automaker is already looking for dealers, importers and distributors in the U.S., as the Chinese see room for bargain brands in the country. The GS4, for instance, is priced in China between 99,000 and 146,800 yuan ($16,245 and $24,090). If brought to the U.S., it would compete with models like the Toyota RAV4, which starts from $24,565, including shipping.
According to Wu, the GS4 (pictured) offers better fuel efficiency, more power and a roomier interior than the RAV4. The GS4 averages 6.3 l/100 kilometers under China’s testing cycle, which is roughly equivalent to 37 mpg. The Toyota RAV4 returns a combined 26 mpg.
The GAC executive said he is “90 percent confident” GAC will bring the GS4 to the United States and he wishes to begin sales before 2017. But first he needs to sign up dealers and importers and get the car certified for sale in the U.S.