While Chinese cars are not a common sight in the U.S., that would appear to be about to change. Zotye USA, the American distributor for vehicles from Chinese automaker Zotye Automobile, recently announced that it has formed agreements for dealer markets in 10 states, including the lucrative urban areas of Atlanta, Austin, Houston, Las Vegas, and Tampa. With these agreements and additional ones to come, Zoyte USA plans to have 250 new vehicle markets in place by the time the company begins to actively sell the Chinese-made vehicles later next year or in early 2021. Eventually, the company expects its new vehicle dealer network will total about 325 locations.
Duke Hale, Chairman and CEO of Zotye USA and its parent company HAAH Automotive Holdings, noted that the company is pleased, though not surprised, that the milestone of 100 markets has been reached earlier than initially estimated, and that dealers are eager to begin selling the vehicles.
“Dealers are hungry to be part of our new, disruptive, method of selling vehicles to consumers in a low pressure, high satisfaction, no haggle, highly efficient environment,” he said in a statement. “Combine a dealer friendly, transparent environment with an SUV that will have an extremely high level of safety equipment, great quality and durability, outstanding styling and a very attractive price, and it’s no surprise we are beating our earlier plan.”
One of the first vehicles Zoyte expects to sell in the U.S. is the Zotye T600, a small crossover with a 1.6-liter turbo-four engine and a six-speed automatic transmission that dealers could be selling by late 2020 or early 2021. After the launch of the T600, Zotye has plans to introduce a midsize crossover vehicle and a sedan. The vehicles will initially be imported from China, according to the company, where they are currently designed, engineered and produced by Zotye Automobile International Co.