BEIJING: Chinese automaker GAC is exporting China-made sport-utility vehicles to Mexico, in its first massive sales in the North America after years of planning to enter the key market. However, the cars are under Dodge marque.
The "Dodge Journey" SUVs are built based on GAC's vehicle design and made at its own Hangzhou factory. Stellantis will sell them at its dealership network in Mexico, according to a statement.
GAC has a joint venture with Stellantis, which is struggling to sell Jeep-branded vehicles in China, the world's biggest auto market, and has recently decided to close one of its two factories.
It is not rare for global automaker to sell vehicles under different brands in different regions but they tend to do that with their own models, rather than partner's.
GAC, which is among the few Chinese state-owned automakers that aim to develop their own brand globally, said it aims to sell 4,000 such vehicles in Mexico by the end of this year.
Like many Chinese companies including Great Wall Motor, GAC has long aimed to sell vehicles in the United States but the plan was progressing slowly due to restriction rules by the Trump administration.
"GAC will continue to strengthen and expand cooperation with Stellantis ... and continue to explore the Mexican Market, and radiate to surrounding areas to lay a foundation for further cultivation of the North American region," it said. It is now selling cars with its own brand in Asia, the Middle East and South America.
This is not the first time that GAC's model is sold through a global automaker's sales channel. Electric GAC cars were sold in GAC-Toyota venture and GAC-Honda venture's showrooms in China from 2018.
Other than the GAC model, an SUV, originally under Baojun marque, developed by SGMW, a joint venture between General Motors Co and SAIC Motor, is sold in South America under Chevrolet logo.