Chinese carmaker shows models at North American International Auto Show

Global Business

More than 50 automobile models are making their world debut in Detroit at the North American International Auto Show, one of the most anticipated shows of the automotive world with many carmakers using it as a platform for their big reveals. CCTV America’s Roza Kazan reported from Detroit.

Chinese carmaker shows models at North Ameriacan International Auto Show

Chinese carmaker shows models at North Ameriacan International Auto Show

More than 50 automobile models are making their world debut in Detroit at the North American International Auto Show, one of the most anticipated shows of the automotive world with many carmakers using it as a platform for their big reveals. CCTV America's Roza Kazan reported from Detroit.

The GAC Group was the only Chinese carmaker to attend the North American International Auto Show to unveil its GS4 compact SUV, touting it as a fuel efficient vehicle that meets international standards.

GAC is essentially unknown in the U.S., but it is one of the six largest Chinese carmakers, and it hopes to have a North American presence by 2017.

“We wanted to particularly showcase this car to all potential customers and distributors to let them know if the chances are right, and we can find the right distributor, then we will bring our cars to the North American market,” director and general manager of GAC Group Song Wu said.

GAC said exhibiting here will help it learn about U.S. consumers and how they might respond to a Chinese brand, but analysts said the U.S. is a tough market to crack.

“Setting up a distribution and a network here is not an easy task. So even if they have a great product which meets the safety standard and the emission standards here, they still have to figure out how to make that last leg of the connection down to the customer and consumer,” Daron Gifford, management consulting partner at tax consulting firm Plante Moran said.

Despite the challenges, cars made in China will soon hit U.S. roads, including Volvo’s S60 Inscription, a midsize sedan built by Volvo in Chengdu. The historically Swedish brand was acquired by China’s Geely Group in 2010 which said it plans to export these cars to the United States.

“It’s very important from a symbolic statement to look that this is the first of many Chinese built vehicles to come to the U.S. over the next several years. It will be a lot of attention, certainly on this vehicle and on the brand itself,” the senior vice president of forecasting at LMC Automotive Jeffrey Schuster said.