Ford's Chinese partner is also known for building copycat Range Rovers and Porsches.
We knew this day would eventually come and according to Reuters it’ll happen in 2020. Zotye, Ford’s Chinese partner and builder of copycat Range Rovers and Porsches, will begin selling SUVs (of its own design?) in the US in less than two years from now. Ford, however, is not involved. Previously, Ford signed a deal with Zotye to build low-cost electric vehicles at some of its Chinese dealerships.
“There is no current plan for Zotye USA to sell EVs in the U.S. market,” Zotye spokesman Chris Hosford confirmed. At the moment, Zotye is setting up its US dealership and distribution network which will be based in Lake Forest, California and has partnered with HAAH Automotive Holdings to make that happen.
The plan is to sell its vehicles in franchised dealerships across America. According to Autoweek, about 20 dealers have signed up so far. Zotye offered few specifics regarding the size, pricing, or general capabilities of its SUV(s), only stating that “engineering development and homologation work on the model is underway and is proceeding smoothly. Sales to retail customers in the US are expected to begin in 2020,” says the Zotye USA press release. Chances are, America will receive a properly updated version of the Zotye T600 SUV, pictured here. Its front end design is very Volkswagen Tiguan-ish, just saying.
In China, it’s powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder good for around 160 hp and pricing starts off at about $18,000 in China. If Zotye can keep pricing roughly the same but increase output by, say 10 to 20 hp, then the US-spec T600 could be kind of interesting, let alone a possible bargain. Still though, based on Zotye’s copycat past, we’re a bit skeptical.
We would highly suggest for some exterior design changes. Americans want something unique and, well, Zotye does not exactly exemplify that all too well. We’ll find out more in the coming months.