Chinese car uncertified for U.S. sales, but dealers sought
By ALYSHA WEBB | AUTOMOTIVE NEWS
AutoWeek | Published 10/11/06, 12:44 pm et
DETROIT -- Trolling for dealers, a New Jersey-based importer will show two Chinese vehicles at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in Las Vegas in February.
Importer China America Cooperative Automotive Inc. wants to bring two models to the United States: a pickup and an SUV. They are assembled by Zhongxing Automobile Co., a small auto manufacturer in Baoding, in the northern Chinese province of Hebei.
But the vehicles have not met stiff U.S. emissions and safety standards. So dealers signed by the importer, also called Chamco, may have no vehicles to sell. Zhongxing produced 7,800 units in 2005.
Chamco, of Parsippany, N.J., says it has an exclusive agreement with Zhongxing to distribute the vehicles in the United States. It wants to sign up 120 dealers initially. Dealers must put up $250,000, which gives them an equity stake in Chamco, says William Pollack, the importer's executive vice president for strategic planning and marketing.
Says Chamco CEO Veechwin Li: "Our biggest challenge is to make sure the quality will be there."