America’s trade war with China isn’t stopping Zotye from preparing to sell its vehicles in the United States as the company will reveal its first dealerships at the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) show on January 30th.
Zotye’s announcement was short on details, but the company noted these dealerships are expected to become the first to sell Chinese models in the United States under the Chinese automaker’s brand name.
While we expect additional information will be released next week, the company has previously said its first US-spec model will be an SUV that is slated to go on sale in 2020. Zotye hasn’t said much beyond that, but has previously stated “engineering, development and homologation work [is] currently underway.”
Despite being tight-lipped on specifics, Zotye USA’s Facebook page is full of images showing the T700 crossover which is essentially a Chinese clone of the first-generation Range Rover Evoque. However, HAAH Automotive Holdings – which is handling US distribution rights – has previously said Zotye is “developing numerous new models” and “one of these new models will be the first product launched in the USA [during the] fourth quarter of 2020.”
Zotye isn’t widely known outside of China, but it often gets called out for its less than creative styling. Besides the T700, Zotye’s SR9 has been criticized as a Porsche Macan knock-off. The company’s T600 also resembles the first-generation Volkswagen Tiguan, while the Traum Meet3 echoes the Mercedes GLC.
It will be interesting to see if the company’s first US model will follow a similar philosophy, but the automakers are pretty protective of the US market. This can be seen by FCA’s ongoing feud with Mahindra over the Jeep-like Roxor.