Planet China

Trump car

WiC doubts that the White House would consider switching its presidential fleet to a Chinese car brand, even if its name echoes that of the commander-in-chief. The Financial Times reported this week that Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC) plans to sell its Trumpchi sedan in the US – a car that’s been on sale in China (and popular) since 2010. In January the Trumpchi became the first Chinese brand to feature on the main floor of the Detroit Auto Show, and general manager Yu Jun told the FT: “If we want to become a global leading brand and enter the global market, we must enter the US market.” The company says it came up with the name long before Donald Trump entered the political scene and it has no connection to the former reality star and real estate tycoon. Instead it says the name’s two Chinese characters mean to ‘to excel’ or ‘surpass’, as well as the first syllable of the word “cheerful” respectively. Yu says GAC now has a dilemma whether to use the same Trumpchi name in America, where the Trump brand is now proving divisive.

“We were debating whether to use this name even before Trump was elected,” he admits. He also says American customers will have to wait till at least 2019 before they are able to buy a Trumpchi. (For more on Guangzhou Auto’s global plans, see our Sinopolis guide to Guangzhou – downloadable from the Books section of our website.)

© ChinTell Ltd. All rights reserved.

Sponsored by HSBC.

The Week in China website and the weekly magazine publications are owned and maintained by ChinTell Limited, Hong Kong. Neither HSBC nor any member of the HSBC group of companies ("HSBC") endorses the contents and/or is involved in selecting, creating or editing the contents of the Week in China website or the Week in China magazine. The views expressed in these publications are solely the views of ChinTell Limited and do not necessarily reflect the views or investment ideas of HSBC. No responsibility will therefore be assumed by HSBC for the contents of these publications or for the errors or omissions therein.