Automotive

Published on July 2nd, 2021 | by Subhash Nair

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“Skyworth” Might Be 1st Chinese Brand To Sell Cars In US

Skyworth is an unknown brand in the automotive world, but it might be the first Chinese brand in the US.

Before Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Kia, and Hyundai became world-renowned carmakers, these Japanese and Korean carmakers had to do one thing: conquer the US market. The American car market is large and ready to try new things, as brands like Genesis and Tesla can attest to. So if the Japanese and Koreans have been at it for so long, why haven’t Chinese brands attempted to open up in the US?

Skyworth Et5 from the front

Well, the answer is probably somewhere between simple and complex. One way of looking at it is that the risk outweighs the potential benefit. Maybe customer surveys show that Chinese cars aren’t suited to American tastes. It could even be something else entirely. Whatever the reason, things might be changing soon for at least one Chinese car company called Skyworth.

What’s the brand called?

This is quite a difficult one to unpack because there are a lot of brands and names involved and none of them are familiar in the auto industry, but we’ll try.

  1. Skyworth used to be called Skywell
  2. Skyworth vehicles are made by a Nanjing Golden Dragon Bus company, who are also shareholders in this car brand
  3. Skyworth has an electric SUV called the ET5. It’s made completely in-house, including the platform
  4. Skyworth has a local partner in the USA called Imperium Motors
  5. Imperium Motors is a subsidiary of DSG Global, a trade compliance and business strategy consulting firm
  6. The Skyworth ET5 will be brought into the USA as the Imperium Motors ET5, but it wear Skywell logos and badges.

It’s also important to note that Imperium Motors doesn’t seem to have an exclusive partnership with Skyworth. According to CarNewsChina.com, the brand opened an experience centre in California, where it showed many different electric vehicles from many different brands. This includes electric scooters like the “Imp-Chimp”, which is a rebadged Jonway Y1.

The company says it has been collecting pre-orders but hasn’t disclosed just how many so far. It also doesn’t really have a release date for any of these vehicles. Given neither one of these companies (Skyworth and Jonway) are serious carmakers even in China, is it realistic to expect them to produce competitive vehicles that will entice fussy American buyers?

Well, maybe the sheer low price will be enough to convince a few. However, these products need to also pass the USA’s stringent emissions and safety standards before they can be legally sold there. That hasn’t yet happened. Once that roadblock has been passed, Imperial Motors will be acquiring a dealership chain and push for global sales.

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Written work on dsf.my. @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.



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