Global Holdings International Inc. says it will begin selling a full lineup of models from China’sAutomotive Ltd. in the U.S. in the second half of next year.
Among vehicles it plans to market is a sports sedan it hopes to bring in at less than $10,000.
“We have a little sports sedan,” a spokeswoman for the importer tells Ward's. “Remember when Datsun (Motor Co. Ltd.) came out with the 240Z line? It will be similar to that. It will be a really tight little sports car that kids will want to have at a really good price point.”
She says the vehicles will be launched in second-half 2007. Some “green” models also will be offered, she says, but she doesn’t elaborate on their powertrains.
The importer, which has only a “handful” of employees, will be based in Las Vegas, the spokeswoman says.
“Everyone from all over the world comes to Las Vegas,” she says of the city, more famous for gambling and Elvis impersonators than autos. “It’s a very international place to come now.”
Global Holdings plans to establish its first two dealerships in Mexico: the first in Guadalajara and the second in Mexico City. Its first U.S. showroom will be in Las Vegas.
While unable to provide specifics on how many dealers Global Holdings plans to have nationally, the spokeswoman says there will be 10 dealerships sellingmodels in Northern California, one of four regions in which franchises have been signed.
Other U.S. regions where Global Holdings has inked franchise deals include Missouri and Kansas.
Each dealer will be expected to sell 1,000 units at his store “from the get-go,” she says.
In addition to Brilliance vehicles, the importer this year will begin selling in the U.S. heavy equipment, such as buses and commercial vehicles, from Foton Auto, which the spokeswoman says is one of China’s biggest vehicle manufacturers.
To get the word out about the vehicles it plans to offer, Global Holdings will take the Brilliance M1 luxury sedan on tour.
The spokeswoman says the vehicle will appear in public places in various cities, including a June stop in San Francisco.
John Harmer, chief operating officer of Geely U.S.A. Inc., recently spoke about the difficulties associated with selling Chinese cars to Americans, namely the issue of perceived quality.
But the Global Holdings spokeswoman contends “there is a big difference” between cars built by such Chinese auto makers asAutomobile Co. Ltd., which Malcom Bricklin’s Visionary Vehicles LLC plans to import into the U.S. next year, and Brilliance’s models.