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China-based GAC will dip its toe in the U.S. market with first model offerings

GAC Trumpchi GS8
China-based GAC will attend next week’s Detroit Auto Show to introduce four models designed for its Trumpchi brand. The government-owned company hopes to begin selling cars on our shores before the end of the decade.

The first car is a crossover named GS7. It’s billed as a new model, but French website LeBlogAuto has learned the GS7 will essentially be a shorter version of the long-wheelbase, Land Cruiser-esque GS8 (pictured above) that was introduced in China last year. Ready for production, the soft-roader is expected to receive a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine.

Next up is a crossover-coupe openly inspired by the BMW X6 and the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe. Named ENspirit, the model will debut as a close-to-production concept equipped with state-of-the-art connectivity features. A second concept named GE3 will give show-goers a preview of GAC’s upcoming compact crossover powered by an all-electric drivetrain. Finally, the brand will introduce a plug-in hybrid variant of the existing Trumpchi GA8.

GAC began attending the Detroit Auto Show in 2013, though its presence went largely unnoticed at first. It’s still not the star of the event, but this year the company paid to display its models on the main floor of the Cobo Center, ensuring it receives as much exposure as bigger, more established automakers. Company executives hope the publicity will bring GAC closer to its long-held goal of entering the United States market.

Details about GAC’s upcoming American offensive are scant as of writing. However, the idea of a Chinese brand sending its cars to the United States isn’t as far-fetched as it was a couple of years ago. None are currently operating in our market, but Volvo launched the Chinese-built S60L in 2014, and Buick’s Envision crossover wears a “made in China” label.

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