Trumpchi, we barely knew you. Following a report by the New York Times that China’s state-owned Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC) is expected to forgo using the Trumpchi brand name in the United States, the company announced that it will use the Detroit auto show later this month to debut a minivan, a new luxury sedan, and an electric-vehicle concept. Unlike the case at last year’s show, not a single model lays claim to the Trumpchi badge.
In fact, the first time a GAC product caught our attention at Cobo Center was almost three years ago, when the company brought its GS4 compact crossover to the 2015 Detroit auto show alongside a concept, the WitStar plug-in hybrid, which—for reasons beyond our understanding—was fitted with a fish tank in the rear console. The whole affair looked as though GAC had let Xzibit pimp its ride prior to unveiling the pint-sized SUV.
We presume the company’s minivan for the 2018 show will be a variant of the GM8 that it recently revealed at the Guangzhou auto show. Built on an all-new platform, the model already targets the top of the minivan market. While the minivan may attract wealthier consumers in China, the same can’t be said of U.S. customers. Still, we could see the GM8 competing with established minivans such as the Chrysler Pacifica, Honda Odyssey, and Toyota Sienna, all of which start at around $30,000 and top out at more than $45,000.
Likewise, the new luxury sedan will likely build upon the momentum of the GA8, which the company released in 2016. At 197 inches long, the GA8 would contend with mid-size luxury sedans such as the BMW 5-series or the Genesis G80. Power for the GA8 comes courtesy of a 194-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. GAC would need to plug in a more powerful engine to compete against established luxury sedans here.
Finally, GAC claims its new electric-car concept has been designed with American youth in mind. We’re not sure what that means, but we’d have no qualms if the company updated last year’s EnSpirit concept plug-in hybrid by giving the fastback crossover slightly more aggressive styling and an all-electric powertrain.
Copyright by caranddriver