Malcolm Bricklin, 65-year-old founder of Visionary Vehicles LLC, has a contract withAutomobile Co. Ltd. of China to become the first importer and distributor of a lineup of Chinese-built vehicles in the U.S. starting in January 2007.
He vows to sell 250,000 vehicles the first year through a network of 250 dealerships, 500,000 the second year, 750,000 the third, and 1 million annually in 2010. He says he expects to have 1 million orders in hand before the first car is ever sold here.
Bricklin founded Subaru of America Inc. in 1968 to import Japanese cars into the U.S., a venture that proved successful. But he is best remembered as the man who in the mid-1970s created the 2-seater Bricklin gull-wing sports car that failed after only about 2,600 were built.
One of the first-made imports — the Chery name likely will not be used in the U.S. — will be a 4-door mid-luxury sedan in the Audi A6 vein, but selling for around $20,000, about half the price of the A6, vows Bricklin.
Other models expected for '07 import include an entry-level compact sedan, a cross/utility vehicle and an SUV.
Bricklin insists he'll introduce one new vehicle every two months for three years.