Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: A Chinese car company is planning on selling its wares in the US.
The Vantas puts its own spin on that narrative though. The name is new you see, but the vehicle it’s attached to isn’t: this is the Exeed TX, Chery’s premium brand in its native land. That switch is important, as Vantas intends to both build and sell its models within North America.
Chery has entered a partnership with Irvine, CA-based Hale and Associates Automotive Holdings (HAAH) to bring the Vantas to fruition. HAAH made the announcement Monday morning, though the big details—such as where the assembly plants would be, or the timeline—are unknown at this point.
We do know the sales approach the new manufacturer will take, however. HAAH will provide a cloud-based digital selling platform for Vantas. That’s right: like Genesis in Canada, Vantas would operate without traditional dealerships, at least initially. In the press release Vantas states this should increase speed and precision for the company as well as buyers. In addition, it says the system will provide Vantas personnel with a “single version of the truth” to better serve customers.
And there’s the looks. The Vantas is a fine-looking vehicle, with hints of numerous other crossovers in its lines. We see Infiniti, Mitsubishi, Kia, and Land Rover, but it all comes together. If the TX-based model isn’t your cup of tea, Vantas also teased a bigger, squarer rig, shown below.
It’s an ambitious plan, to say the least. Launching a crossover in a part of the world obsessed with them is smart, but it also means the competition is strong and numerous. Will Americans (and Canadians) take to a new name? 35 years ago Hyundai dealt with a similar uphill battle, and later this year its Genesis luxury spin-off will launch its own SUV, the GV80. Vantas could be the Chinese equivalent of the Koreans’ rise to glory—we’ll have to wait and see.