China's GAC Motor says it wants to enter the massive US car market next year, with a wide range of models and a mission that - if successful - will make it a major player outside its home country.
As a statement of intent, the Guangzhou company presented its line-up at this week's Detroit motor show, headlined by the slick GA4 small sedan and a wild electric SUV concept called the Enverge.
Chinese car brands haven't made much ground in the US - a nation more fond of protectionism towards local industry - yet GAC is not messing about. The pledges it's making aren't just automotive, the ramifications will surely wade into the realm of the geopolitical too.
GAC achieved a 37.2 per cent year-on-year increase in 2017, and claims to rank first among all Chinese brands for five consecutive years in J.D. Power Asia Pacific's 2017 China Initial Quality Study SM (IQS).
The company built a production and sales volume of 500,000 vehicles in 2017 and aims to reach 1,000,000 vehicles by 2020 - big, but not as big as the likes of SAIC (including LDV and MG), Geely (owner of Volvo and Lynk & Co) and Great Wall/Haval.
"As GAC Motor releases its new vehicles, the brand's product line-up is more comprehensive than ever, paving a path for GAC Motor to further explore global markets while demonstrating the company's advanced and upgraded capabilities in R&D, manufacturing and quality," the company stated.
GAC's president, Yu Jun, also discussed what he called a new brand, sales and marketing blueprint for the US at the motor show.
"The American market has the strictest standards, laws and regulations, so entering it is a challenge as well as test for GAC Motor's quality, technology and R&D capabilities," he said.
In 2017, GAC Motor established its North American R&D centre in Silicon Valley and hosted job fairs in California, Detroit and Boston. Since January this year, GAC Motor has started another round of recruitment programs in America. Michigan governor Rick Snyder attended this week's reveal.
The company will also attend the annual convention of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) in Las Vegas this March. Reportedly, it is also negotiating with partner Fiat Chrysler about the possible distribution of vehicles in the US.
While the launch range for America will include a variety of sedans of various sized, some SUVs and a minivan, the attention in Detroit was on the GA4 based on an in-house platform, and the Enverge.
The little SUV concept uses an electric powertrain with a 71kWh battery. With a total of 175kW (and undisclosed torque output) sent to all four wheels, the Enverge claims a 4.4-second 0-100km/h sprint and has a range close to 600km. It also uses wireless inductive charging rather than a cable.
"We look forward to the increasing attention and support worldwide," said Yu Jun. "In our pursuit of the North American market, GAC Motor stands ready to share our high-quality products and work with all of you..."