• Jun 7, 2007
Not that it's much of a surprise, but It didn't take long for Steve Saleen to find a new job. Less than a month after leaving his eponymous specialty manufacturing company, AutoWeek is reporting that Steve has landed a new gig. The somewhat surprising part is that he is the new CEO of ZX Automobile Company of North America (ZXNA). ZXNA is a subsidiary of China America Cooperative Automotive (Chamco), and the New Jersey company has started the process of bringing Chinese vehicles into the States.

ZXNA plans to bring two Chinese models to these shores later this year, a pickup truck and an SUV that will probably be sold in Mexico at first because they don't currently meet U.S. emissions and safety standards. Their pricing will start at around $13,000. ZXNA is trying to establish a network of 150 U.S. dealers, though, and it's at 20% of that goal so far. Eventually the company plans to build an assembly plant in Baja, Mexico that will build those vehicles intended for sale in the United States. They've set a goal of 30,000 vehicles a year by 2009, which is about four times what they produce currently. There's no word on whether the Chinese vehicles will get the trademark Saleen slats, fins and rockers, but we doubt the bumpers will accommodate a serialized production number of up-to five digits.

[Source: AutoWeek]


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  • 14 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      I can't wait to get a Happy Dragon Flying Coupe!
      • 7 Years Ago
      This could really be big. You go to your dealer, buy one of these chow-mein specials and an hour later you feel like buying another one!
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm not sure how much of a window of opportunity remains for the Chinese. 30 years ago American made cars were poorly built and got bad gas mileage. Capitalizing on that was what allowed the somewhat less sucky Japanese companies to get a foothold. Now All cars sold in the U.S. are pretty darn good and cheap parts come from around the globe to all manufacturers. Maybe the Chinese can build a better car for less money but it won't be shooting fish in a barrel like it was for the Japanese.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Yea with every one you get a handful of hot mustard and soy sauce packets that you always throw away and a fortune cookie.---

      haha no- but seriously, thanks but no thanks.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wal-Mart will sell them and they will kill us just like the PeterPan peanut butter Wal-Mart sold.
      Bryan
      • 7 Years Ago
      Don--my thoughts exactly...James...my first thought too...total Sequoia rip off..why? Why would you copy a Toyota for styling? Azrael..the Ranger ring a bell? Duh! Colorado is pretty compact as well. I really do not think this is going to work out. They will probably suffer like Daewoo and have to be bought to stay alive.
        • 7 Years Ago
        @Bryan
        Ranger is no longer in production, Colorado is a mid-size with an optional V8. There is no S10/Mighty Max/P'up sized vehicle in the U.S. While some may call the trucks compact, the smaller trucks are larger than my '88 Dakota, the original mid-size. All of them are getting bigger and bigger.

        As to Suzuki, they still have very little presence in the U.S. Yes, they are turning around, but look how hard it was to get on track. They almost didn't make it. They've just recently got going good. Isuzu may never have a solid U.S. operation. Daewoo failed, and it was a GM subsidiary.

      • 7 Years Ago
      Ugh..I am ashamed Americans would buy a Commie Chinese car. Proof Americans will buy anything that's cheap.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I saw some Great Wall China pick up trucks in Iraq and they look just like the old Toyota Tacoma. The silent invasion has just begun.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Well, there goes my opinion of Steve Saleen.
      • 7 Years Ago
      What the heck??! Malcom isn't in the middle of this?! Is it me, or does that one SUV in the foreground have a totally ripped off Toyota front end? Steve, why?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yep! That it does! Sort of a Highlander/GX470 mashup... And the pickup truck looks unsurprisingly like an older Tundra, too. The Chinese automakers are notorious for making near-carbon copy clones of popular mass market vehicles.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It ain't sold yet. I doubt it will go over, look how well Daewoo did. Heck, how about Isuzu or Suzuki? The only thing they have going is that they appear to be willing to offer the only compact truck in America, which might garner a sale or two from fleet managers. If it turns out to be mid-size, then it will fail.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Wow, Suzuki had BEST sales ever last year, nearly 101,000 units. Not a lot, compared to others, but Mitsubishi only sold around 118,000 last year(and lots of people and editors are "raving" about Mitsu's cars now, and recovery... not many more units sold than Suzuki).


        In-laws had 2 older Suzuki's, (well, Trackers, but, go do a net search... they are Suzuki's, rebadged for GM)... 90 and still have a 97... the 90 got 219K, and was traded in for the 07 SX4(in Oct....06, now has 20K on it! Runs smooth as any Toyota, and as quiet, maybe better interior than their cheaper models, like Scion xB?)... the 97 has 107K... no issues in 11 years.
        The GM-DAT cars(Reno/Forenza..rebadged Daewoo's) Suzuki's dropping them, according to the dealership. The next "Verona"... to be seen at the SEPT autoshow.... will be out next year, ALL Suzuki, from Japan. No Daewoo.
        Isuzu is lucky to sell 5000 vehicles a year....


        PS:Hey, people: Go to Motorweek.org, look up Suzuki SX4 test.... I trust them... I can see the test on tv.Plus, knowing the owners of one makes a big difference!

        Thanks. have a great weekend.
        take care/not offense(and please try not to be offensive).

        PS(again) The old Trackers were more like Tractors in NVH,,, but solid as a rock in reliability. SX4 seems to be the same, but up to others in quality these days(for NVH and looks).
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