Yongkang, China-based Zotye Automobile has formed a Lake Forest, Calif.-based sales and distribution company and is set to recruit U.S. dealers, the company announced.
Duke Hale, chairman and chief executive of HAAH Automotive Holdings, and Wangsheng Zhu, chairman of Zotye Automobile International Co., confirmed the company's first U.S. product will be an SUV launched sometime in 2020. Ford is partnering with Zotye to sell lower-priced electrified vehicles to its dealers in China.
"I am beyond thrilled to make this announcement, the result of more than four years of discussions and negotiations with the Zotye [team] in China," Hale said. "With the agreement, we have begun setting up a franchised dealer network to handle sales and service in America. We've had discussions with several major dealers already and will have more to say about that in the months to come."
"HAAH has rich experience in automobile sales and a series of unique and feasible innovative sales concepts, which will successfully propel Zotye Automobile in the American market. This cooperation extends the solid foundation for Zotye Automobile in the international market," Zhu added.
The Zotye USA sales team is led by industry veteran Bob Pradzinski, who will serve as senior vice president of sales.
"HAAH Automotive Holdings is a disruptor, and we will be adding innovative features and processes to the customer and franchise dealer system," Pradzinski said. "These new ideas will dramatically improve the current system, bringing in greater simplicity to the purchase process and more transparency for customers while also offering dealers unique advantages. The result will be a system that will function better for everyone."