We've heard for some time that Chinese automakers are coming to the U.S. Now it is real.
The National Automobile Dealers Association has invited Guangzhou Automobile Group to recruit dealers next month at the annual NADA convention.
Unlike Tesla, the Chinese apparently will sell vehicles in a traditional manner in the U.S. They plan to sign up dealers and award franchises across the nation.
And make no mistake, once it starts we will see a flood of Chinese brands joining the many other Asian brands that have big head starts.
Despite whatever political friction may exist between the U.S. and China, the two countries are locked at the hip as far as the auto industry is concerned. So far, China has been a windfall for American and European automotive companies. Some brands, such as Buick, are outselling their home market in China.
Some Chinese ownership of Western auto companies has occurred. Volvo is owned by the Chinese automaker Geely and there are reports that Geely has acquired shares in Daimler.
Now Chinese-branded cars will be sold here, and they may be tough competitors. The Chinese have been smart in hiring a lot of talented Western stylists. We are seeing some contemporary designs coming from the Chinese manufacturers.
The entry of the Chinese will mark an important change in the U.S. industry, as happened when the Japanese and Korean companies arrived.
After losing several domestic brands in the past couple of decades, including Pontiac, Saturn, Oldsmobile, Mercury and Plymouth, there will be plenty of opportunities for those new Chinese brands.
New brands from a new country? Certainly there is never a dull moment in the car business.