Does America need another automotive brand? Duke Hale seems to think so, and his company, HAAH Automotive Holdings, will soon sell vehicles under the Vantas brand in the United States and Canada. We suppose that name is better than the parent company’s “HAAHAH” acronym.
This entirely serious endeavor will kick off with a crossover derived from Chinese automaker Chery’s Exeed brand. Given the images that HAAH Automotive Holdings released, it appears the first Vantas model may be little more than a rebadged take on the Exeed TXL. The 188-inch long crossover appears to target mid-size models such as the Honda Passport and Nissan Murano.
Although Vantas is sourcing its crossover from China, the brand plans to assemble the vehicle in America. Well, at least partly. According to HAAH Automotive Holdings spokesperson Chris Hosford, Vantas will initially assemble semi-knocked-down (SKD) Exeed vehicles, sent over from Chery, in North America. While Hosford noted that “it’s too early to know where all those [vehicles’] parts will be sourced,” he acknowledged that “the early vehicles will consist of well over half Chinese content.” Vantas, however, plans to transition to vehicle manufacturing, and not just assembly, in due time.
Nevertheless, we’re hopeful that the assembly process includes the installation of a U.S.-market-specific powertrain under the Vantas’s hood. In China, the Exeed TXL relies on a 194-hp four-cylinder engine and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission for motivation. The similarly sized Passport and Murano, meanwhile, both rely on V-6 engines that make north of 250 horsepower.
Nevertheless, we ought to know more about the Vantas in the coming months given the brand’s on-sale target date of late 2021/early 2022. Coincidentally, HAAH Automotive Holdings plans to begin sales of vehicles from the Chinese-brand Zotye in North America in 2021. With a network of dealers already signed up to sell Zotye vehicles in the U.S., HAAH Automotive Holdings should have no trouble finding stores to push its Vantas crossover onto American consumers.
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