LAS VEGAS — The first Vantas models were revealed last week, and no they aren't vans.
Vantas is a brand being started by China's Chery Automobile Co. and HAAH Automotive Holdings with plans to begin assembling knock-down kits in the U.S. for North American sale as soon as late next year.
Two models from Chery's Exeed brand were revealed on the floor of the NADA Show here. They will be the basis for the Vantas TXL compact crossover, comparable to a Hyundai Santa Fe, and the Vantas VX, which is sized more like a Kia Telluride or Hyundai Palisade.
"These cars are fantastic," said George DeMontrond, a dealer in the Houston area. "They're well engineered. They've got a lot of electronics in them that I think make life easier and do a good job for the consumer. And they're beautiful; they're gorgeous."
He said the attractiveness of the product helped persuade him to take all five points in his home market.
At the show, HAAH CEO Duke Hale said the company signed up 80 dealers in the week after announcing plans for the brand. HAAH, which is working to import and distribute Zotye vehicles from China, is processing requests from about 200 more dealers who expressed interest at the show.