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Would You Buy a Chinese Car If It Came With a 30-Percent Discount?

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 4/28/2015 Kelly Pleskot

If you're like us, you're probably tired of hearing the unfulfilled promises from Chinese car companies planning to bring cars to the U.S. But we have to admit that Guangzhou, which made a showing at the Detroit auto show this year, has an interesting strategy on how to invade the U.S. market by charging almost a third less than the competition.

Would You Buy a Chinese Car If It Came With a 30-Percent Discount?

Speaking with Automotive News, Guangzhou general manager Wu Song says his cars need to be priced 30 percent cheaper than the existing competition to stay competitive. Currently, the company is looking for U.S. dealers, importers, and distributors to make this dream come true.

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The first vehicle Guangzhou hopes to bring to the U.S. is the GS4 crossover, which debuted at the 2015 Detroit auto show. The GS4 is now on sale in China, and when converted to U.S. dollars, is priced between $16,245 and $24,088.

Wu says the GS4 will compete with the Toyota RAV4, which starts at $24,565 and goes beyond $30,000 when optioned out. He says the GS4 will offer more power, more interior space, and increased fuel economy compared to the RAV4. Under the Chinese testing cycle, which cannot be directly compared to EPA ratings, the GS4 earns the equivalent of around 37 mpg.

A number of other Chinese car companies, including Great Wall and BYD Auto, have long promised a future in the U.S., but so far, none has introduced a car to our market. Geely, which already has a foot in the door by owning Volvo, also hasn't put out any products of its own for the U.S. Considering this, we're not holding our breath for Guangzhou, but if it does happen, Wu says he wants to begin sales before 2017. That doesn't give Guangzhou much of a window, considering he must first secure dealers and get the GS4 certified for sale in the U.S. And since it is so difficult for any car company to establish credibility in a new marketplace, Guangzhou would be in for a difficult ride if it did get past the first few hurdles.

Wu says he is "90 percent confident" that the GS4 will make its way to the U.S. Do you think a price that's 30 percent less than the competition is enough to lure buyers to an unfamiliar car with an unknown reputation? Would you consider buying a Chinese car, and if so, how much would you be willing to pay? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)

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