Editor's note: The number of GS8s sold in China last year has been corrected.
DETROIT -- After years of teases and promises, China's Guangzhou Automotive Group announced firm plans to enter the U.S. market -- and it plans to recruit dealers at the upcoming NADA convention.
The state-owned automaker said Monday that it will launch sales of the GS8 -- a seven-seat SUV -- in 2019.
"We will attend the NADA convention, company President Yu Jun told reporters, "in preparation for entering the North American market in the fourth quarter of 2019."
A spokesman for the National Automobile Dealers Association on Monday confirmed GAC will display at its annual convention, which will take place in March in Las Vegas.
Yu said GAC will launch a North American sales company in the first half of this year.
“We will explore all sorts of channels, including partnering” with other dealership groups, he said. “We will also try to build our own dealership network in the future. All of these options are on the table.”
GAC has publicly indicated its intention to enter the U.S. market as far back as 2014. It has taken a number of steps to prepare for the move.
The automaker has opened a technical center in Silicon Valley, and it plans to open a second facility in metro Detroit. The next step, according to Wang Qui Jing, chief of GAC’s engineering institute, is to establish a design studio in Los Angeles.
GAC also pulled off a splashy product placement of the Trumpchi GS5 in the movie "Transformers: Age of Extinction."