China’s Guangzhou Automotive Company (GAC Motors) is planning a multi-pronged approach to enter the U.S. market in 2019. Two vehicles that will go on sale is a production version of the striking Enverge SUV and the GA4, is a sedan that was unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show this week.
Besides powertrain options for the GA4, there isn’t a lot of available information for the sedan. The sedan will be available in two different powertrains: a 1.3-liter or a 1.5-liter engine. Specs for the engines aren’t available.
As far as tech features are concerned, we know that the sedan will offer consumers with remote engine control via a smartphone, and Android-based software for the infotainment system.
Besides those tidbits of information, everything’s pretty much up in the air for the GA4. And GAC didn’t release a lot of pictures for the car, making it even more difficult to see what it’s fitted with.
The four-door model isn’t anything special on the outside, which is a shame as the midsize sedan segment is ripe for change at the moment. The front end mimics that of the previous generation of the Mazda6 sedan, but has a lot more chrome. The grille, for example, is comprised of three horizontal chrome bars. The air intake on the lower part of the front fascia also has a chrome trim piece, while a trim element on the hood is made from chrome, as well.
The rear end doesn’t have nearly as many shiny materials, as there’s just one trim piece on the bottom of the bumper. Overall, the GA4 features a chunky design that’s uninspiring. Unfortunately, it’s the same situation on the inside of the car.
A quick glance at the interior and we’re having déjà vu of being inside a Kia. And it’s not one of Kia’s more modern, better designs, but one from a time when the automaker was just starting to get its act together. There’s a decently-sized screen that’s integrated into the dash, but other than that, it’s pretty standard stuff on the inside.
After seeing some of GAC’s more radically-designed vehicles at last year’s Detroit Auto Show, we were hoping for something with a little more character. But the majority of American consumers probably won’t be going with one of the Chinese automaker’s vehicles for their style. Instead, the GA4’s greatest asset will probably be its price tag, which will be announced closer to the sedan’s actual release date.
Starting off in a new country is proving to be a difficult task for CGA, which has zero dealers in the U.S. at the moment, despite planning its entrance into the market since 2014. According to a report by Autonews, the Chinese automaker is looking to recruit dealers at the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) convention in March. GCA isn’t settling on one avenue just yet, though, as the automaker claimed it would also look into partnering with other groups. Building its own dealership network is a possibility, as well.
Another major problem we see holding GAC back is brand awareness, as the Chinese automaker isn’t exactly a household name.