New U.S. Car Brand Vantas Plans to Build & Sell its China-designed Vehicles in North America
For years, Detroit's big three automakers have dominated the U.S auto industry, operating virtually unchallenged until Japanese and European brands such as Toyota, Honda, Volkswagen and BMW started gaining a foothold in the late 1970's. Since then, however, no models designed by a Chinese automaker were offered in the U.S., even though it's the world's largest auto market with dozens of companies building cars there. Now that might change.
Southern California company HAAH Automotive Holdings has announced plans to sell its vehicles in the U.S. under a new brand called Vantas. The company's vehicles will be built on a platform designed by Chinese carmaker Chery Automobile Co Ltd, but HAAH said on Monday it will assemble them in a new U.S. factory using American workers.
HAAH is looking to employ between 1,000 and 1,500 workers once the plant is fully operational, the firm said. As of now, The company has not decided on a location for its auto factory, but Michigan is among the locations the company is considering.
The first vehicle will be a premium SUV model. HAAH plans to begin selling the vehicle in the United States and Canada by late next year or early 2022.
"This is a historic agreement creating Vantas. The brand will incorporate a number of new technologies from its Chinese partner, including "Intelligent Connected" for a wide variety of safety and driver assistance technology, various aspects of autonomous driving and, in the future, new energy vehicles. Vantas is fully committed to building every one of its vehicles in the U.S. creating jobs in America. HAAH Automotive Holdings is proud to be working with Chery, launching the new Vantas brand in North America," said Duke Hale, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of HAAH Automotive Holdings.
"Chery is an automaker in China with outstanding vehicles. We are very proud they have selected HAAH to be their partner for North America. Vantas vehicles will offer more choice in the premium category for U.S. and Canadian consumers with excellent safety, quality and reliability." Hale added.
HAAH also has an agreement in place with Chinese carmaker Zotye Automobile to distribute Zotye's vehicles in the U.S. In October 2019, HAAH said it has agreements with ten states for vehicle sales and that it has closed the recruitment process in cities such as Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Houston; and Las Vegas.
Hale said that HAAH plans to have agreements signed in up to 250 markets before the launch of the first Zotye model, with plans for even more.
Chery Automobile is one of the top ten automakers in China and exports its vehicles to over 80 countries. The automaker manufactures and sells a full line of SUVs, passenger cars and electric vehicles under several brands, including its luxury brand Exeed.
The first VANTAS SUV will be built on the Exeed platform, which has been developed with global resources and technologies targeted specifically at United States and Canadian consumers.
"We are glad to witness the launch and establishment of this new American automobile brand, VANTAS, said Ray Bierzynski, Executive Vice President of Chery Automobile.
"New technology, new energy and new retail are profoundly changing the global automotive industry. HAAH is an excellent auto company in North America, with a first-class team that has deep auto experience and an innovative sales and marketing model."
Bierzynski said that the collaboration with HAAH will provide support for the development of new products which will meet and exceed North American customer expectations for the Vantas brand.
"I have no doubt that VANTAS will bring consumers in North America an outstanding customer experience."
HAAH said that engineering the vehicle for the North American market has already begun.
HAAH said that the online sales process will be implemented using a modern digital platform with a 100% cloud-based system, which combines the enterprise and dealership management system (DMS) to support Vantas and its dealer operations. This system design comes from an integrated and open API platform, providing real time transactions and visibility for all users to increase speed and precision.
Chery Automobile Co., Ltd. was established in 1997. Over the past 20 years, the company established a complete technology and product R&D system. Its products have been exported to more than 80 countries around the world. Chery's joint venture partners include Jaguar Land Rover.
Chery has been the top brand for the export of passenger vehicles from China for 17 consecutive years. If all goes according to plan, the first vehicle designed by the Chinese automaker may soon appear on roads in the U.S. for the first time.
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