China’s Zotye recently announced that its T600 compact SUV would arrive at U.S. showrooms by the end of 2020 or beginning of 2021. The company announced at the NADA Show earlier this year that it was coming to the U.S. and had signed 19 dealers, including WANADA Board member George Doetsch, a Ford-Lincoln dealer who plans three stores in Maryland.
Like the Koreans when they first sold vehicles here, lower pricing will be a key part of Zotye’s strategy. The company plans to have 300 dealers when the T600 arrives, and 325 eventually. Dealers will not be required to build the expensive stores that automakers increasingly are insisting on.
Zotye aims to appeal to younger buyers by making the buying process simpler, executives told The Detroit Bureau. Online sales with no-haggle pricing will be part of it, along with fewer vehicle options and trim levels, and lots of tech features like advanced driver assistance systems.
One potential obstacle is the threat of a trade war with China. That’s the reason the T600 introduction was delayed to at least late 2020.