Guangzhou Auto (GAC) is serious about entering the US market by the end of 2019, according to China automotive specialist Mike Dunne.

GAC exhibited at the Detroit Motor Show this week, the company’s fourth year at the NAIAS. It showed a new GA4 sedan and an electric concept car, the Enverge. A GAC spokeswoman told just-auto that GAC is aiming to enter the US market by the end of 2019.

“We are in the planning stage, but we are working to the schedule to launch into the US by the end of 2019,” the spokeswoman said.

Chinese manufacturers have talked about entering the US market before and plans have not come to fruition, amid difficulties in executing marketing and distribution plans.

However, experienced China analyst Mike Dunne said GAC should be taking seriously. “They are putting considerable resource into a strategy to enter the US marketplace,” he says. “And GAC is a company that is well-organised and well-run.”

Dunne cautioned that entering the US market is a considerable challenge for a Chinese OEM. “But they know that,” he maintains. “They are not rushing in and are taking the right steps to put the processes and networks in place, as well as ensuring they have the right products for US consumers, and doing it all on a realistic timescale so that they get things right.”

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At NAIAS, GAC showed the GA4 compact sedan which will be launched in China this month.

GAC also unveiled its first compact sport-utility new energy concept vehicle, the Enverge. The Enverge is GAC’s entry in the field of crossover electric vehicles, a likely growth pole for the Chinese vehicle market.

GAC also showed a range of other models at NAIAS, including the high-end GA8, GS8, and GM8.

The premium GA8 has served at several recent international events, including 2017 World Economic Forum, G20 summit, and the Fortune Global Forum. GAC describes is as a ‘symbol of Chinese high-end manufacturing’.

With the release of GA8, GS8, and GM8, GAC says it has ‘covered the high-end sedan, SUV and minivan market with a complete layout of luxury C-Class vehicles’. It claims they are a major milestone as the company begins to transition to a ‘new era of Chinese-led global products’.

In 2017,GAC Motor established its North American R&D centre in Silicon Valley and hosted job fairs in Silicon Valley, Detroit and Boston. Since January this year, GAC Motor has started another round of on-campus and social recruitment programmes in America to ‘attract emerging talent in diverse fields’.

Later this year, GAC Motor says it will announce a new branding strategy to the world, as well as ‘the new English brand name to better serve our consumers across countries’.

GAC Motor North America Sales Company is set to be established in 2018. The company will, for the first time, attend the annual convention of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) in Las Vegas this March, further expanding its distribution network and dealership resources to  prepare for entering the North American market in the fourth quarter of 2019.