China’s Zotye Automobile International Co. has begun recruiting U.S. dealers.
The distributor will be Zotye USA of Lake Forest, Calif., which is led by former Mazda and Volvo executive Duke Hale, owner of HAAH Automotive Holdings. Longtime Hyundai Motor America executive Bob Pradzinski will be senior vice president of sales. The company will also handle parts and service.
Long-awaited debut of a Chinese auto brand in the United States
Guangzhou Automotive Group had been aiming at a 2019 entry. Unfortunately new U.S. tariffs would likely delay its arrival until 2020. According to Hale, Zotye is studying out-of-the-box marketing approaches championed by brands such as Saturn and Tesla.
According to HAAH’s website, the first U.S. model will be the T600, a five-door crossover that debuted in China in 2013.
Analysts have noted the body’s resemblance to the Audi Q5, while the front end is similar to the Volkswagen Touareg.
In China, prices range from $11,700 to $20,200, the site says.