SAIC, China’s highest-selling automaker, is rethinking its expansion plans due to uncertainty regarding President Donald Trump’s trading policy.
The company was aiming to break into the United States and Europe by 2019, according to a Bloomberg source, but has put its plans to sell cars stateside on hold for the time being. Michael Yang, director of SAIC’s international division, revealed at Auto Shanghai on Wednesday said it will focus on its efforts in China and Europe for now.
The automaker had already begun establishing a presence in the U.S., partly through its joint venture with General Motors. In May, SAIC began exporting China-made Buick Envisions to North America.
“The reason is the ‘climate change’ after the new presidency,” Yang said, via Bloomberg.
In addition to the U.S.’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, SAIC’s pause stems from Trump’s repeated attacks on China while on the campaign trail, accusing it of currency manipulation. He’s changed his tone as of late, but the president’s “buy American, hire American” stance and threats of heavy import taxes still are causes for conern concern for the Shanghai-based manufacturer.
China’s sixth-largest automaker GAC, by contrast, reportedly is still set to begin selling cars in the U.S. under its Trumpchi brand — which some might remember from Season 18 of “Top Gear” — no later 2019. GAC has already begun working to build brand awareness ahead of its entrance through various marketing efforts, such as the inclusion of its GS5 crossover in “Transformers: Age of Extinction.”
Thumbnail photo via SAIC