GAC Continues Old-School Western Charm Offensive

While most of China’s domestic attention is focused on BEV production, one of its largest manufacturers, GAC Motors, continues its charm offensive on the West with a traditional ICE approach.

This week it unveiled the GN8, a luxury MPV, at the glamorous 2019 Dubai International Motor Show, United Arab Emirates. Yet behind the glitzy lighting and promise of more than 16,800 customization options, the vehicle is distinctly old-school.

Built on a steel chassis, beefy vehicle is 16ft 6inches long promising space, comfort and, importantly for the launch market, durability. It’s the robust demands of the domestic oil-rich market that sees the choice of a relatively simple 2.0-liter four-cylinder low inertia turbo-charged gasoline engine in the shape of it second generation 320T being employed.

The powerplant claims an output of 145bhp and torque of 226ft-lbs of torque available fro 1,750rpm and claimed fuel economy of 32mpg (26mpg US) not that the consumption is likely to concern the good residents of the UAE where average gasoline prices are $2.15 a US gallon. Transmission is through a 6-speed Aisin QuickShift automatic gearbox.

GAC says it will continue to accelerate market development in the Middle East and has just opened a new showroom on Sheikh Zayed Road, UAE, and will launch in Oman with the opening of its first showroom in the country. It also promises its first regional brand experience center in Kuwait by the end of this year.

“The Middle East has always been one of the most important overseas markets for GAC Motor, and we are honored to attend the Dubai International Motor show for the third consecutive time,” said Zeng Hebin, general manager of GAC’s international sales.

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

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