Chinese automaker to drop Trumpchi name in US market
By Gong Zhe
GAC, the Chinese automaker which plans to enter the US market by late 2019, unveiled a concept car on Monday at the Detroit Auto Show.
The company also announced that it will not take its famous domestic brand name – Trumpchi – to the US.
The name ranked first in Chinese local brands for years, as data from market firm J.D. Power indicated. So why not keep on using it in the US?
GAC's Trumpchi brand seen in a local auto show in eastern China's Fujian in April, 2017 /VCG Photo‍

GAC's Trumpchi brand seen in a local auto show in eastern China's Fujian in April, 2017 /VCG Photo‍

It may have something to do with the current US president Donald Trump.
The name links Trump's name to "chi", a traditional Chinese term for energy.
"We want to provide the best service for American customers, so we do not want to be closely linked with politics," Wang Qiujing, president of GAC Engineering Institute China, said through an interpreter in an interview at the auto show. "This is the reason we want to rename the brand."
GAC picked the Chinese name Trumpchi in 2010, well before Trump was elected. The similarity to Trump is just a coincidence, Wang added. GAC will continue to use the name in China, where the word sounds similar to "legend," as AP reported.

Full lineup with a star

It was GAC's third appearance at the Detroit Auto Show, after 2015 and 2017.
But it put more effort into its presentation this time, bringing a full lineup to the booth, including its first multipurpose vehicle (MPV) GM8, flagship seven-seat sport utility vehicle (SUV) GS8, elite sedan GA8 and an all-new signature sedan GA4.
Another highlight of the company's exhibit is the debut of a concept car named "Enverge", designed for the US. The car amazed a writer at The Verge, who described the model as "deadly looking" in a report.
GAC's Enverge concept car /GAC Photo

GAC's Enverge concept car /GAC Photo

GAC is the only Chinese automaker in the show and is trying to be the first Chinese brand to enter the US market.
The company put up many advertisements in Detroit to demonstrate its determination.
GAC's ads in Detroit's airport /GAC Photo

GAC's ads in Detroit's airport /GAC Photo

"GAC Motor is proud to unveil our bold additions to the fields of SUVs, sedans and minivans at NAIAS," said Yu Jun, President of GAC Motor. "As we execute on our strategy of becoming an automaker with a global reach, we will continue to design products that will meet the different needs of customers worldwide."
According to the company's website, GAC Motor sold more than 460,000 vehicles from January to November in 2017, a 38.9 percent year-on-year increase, while establishing sales and services networks in 14 countries supported by top global suppliers, covering the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa and North America.