The company never guessed that Trump would win.
President Trump has been having a tremendous effect on the American auto industry, but now the president's influence may affect the Chinese industry as well. We have been hearing about the president's policies regarding China, but this change may occur simply because of Trump's name. China's largest automaker is the Guangzhou Automobile Group, and the company's flagship car brand is called Trumpchi. According to CNN, the company is now doing research to figure out if it should use the Trumpchi name in the US.
Fans of Top Gear may remember the episode where James May and Jeremy Clarkson went to China to road test the locally built cars. The Trumpchi GA5 was one of the cars that Clarkson tested, and it was essentially an Alfa Romeo 166 underneath.
At the Shanghai Auto Show this year, there were some people who mocked the Trumpchi name. GAC Group President Feng Xingya told Reuters that "This is a complete coincidence, we didn't even have the slightest idea he would be president." This may not sound like a big problem for GAC, because having a car with the president's name could help it sell cars in the US. Xingya said that "At first I'd never thought of it, why change the name? It's the president Americans selected, it's similar to the president's name, this has to be good right? But in the United States the level of opposition [to Trump] is high." So will the company actually end up changing the name?
GAC says that the decision is still under discussion and that the company is planning to launch in the US by 2019. So far, no Chinese automaker has been successful at entering the US market, but GAC hopes to be the first.