China Continues Russian Automotive Charm Offensive

China’s carmakers continue making inroads into the Russian market with GAC Motor’s latest showrooms opening in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Vladimir.

The openings coincide with the automaker’s launch of its new GS8 SUV into the market. The premium-level seven-seater is powered by a second-generation 320T engine, a third-generation Aisin 6-speed AMT and a second-generation intelligent four-wheel drive and an all-terrain feedback system similar to that used by the GN8 vehicle during its launch into the United Arab Emirates last autumn.

However, there are market specific for Russian consumers including heated steering wheels and front windshield to cope with the harsh winter conditions. Priced at 1,898,000 rubles ($28,426) including a five-year or 150,000km (93,000 miles) warranty and one-year of free roadside assistance. It also offers a 3-year free maintenance and roadside assistance, as well as free winter tires for the first 200 GS8 owners across Russia.

GAC’s GN8 and new GS5 are also expected to be granted with access permission to the Russian market in the first half of 2020. The automaker said it will also explore the potential to provide consumers even more choices by introducing additional models on the Russian market, including sedan vehicles.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles

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