But it’s a great name, a really great name, the best name, everyone says so.
Here’s a trick question for your Friday: How do you spell ironic? The answer changes all the time in the fast-paced world of automobiles, but right now it seems the correct answer is T-r-u-m-p-c-h-i. No, that’s not some bizzaro life-force channeling technique that involves repeated use of the words great or yuuge. Trumpchi is the name of a Chinese car brand owned by Guangzhou Automobile Group – GAC for short – that offers a modest selection of sedans and sport-utility vehicles.
So yeah, we have a Chinese auto manufacturer with a name that bears an extreme likeness to America’s current polarizing president, who by the way has many detractors and a penchant for badmouthing China. Ironic? This is straight up comedy, and that was before GAC brought Trumpchi to the Detroit Auto Show back in January. The manufacturer had been planning to enter the U.S. market, but according to Reuters, GAC is now looking into a name change for the brand before that happens. We can’t imagine why.
Actually, we don’t have to imagine. Speaking to Reuters, GAC Motor Design Director Zhang Fan alluded to all sorts of mockery from attendees at the Detroit show over the name, saying “people were laughing at this and took pictures looking only at this detail. When we read all that feedback, we realized it might not be very positive promotion for the brand.” Being an automotive website we’ll abstain from in-depth polities, but we can certainly understand an auto manufacturer not wanting close connections with an often-mocked president whose approval rating for the first three months in office is 39 percent.
The kicker is that GAC established the Trumpchi brand long before Trump was even remotely close to leading the United States. The first Trumpchi sedan went into production in 2010 exclusively for the Chinese market, and the brand has since expanded both in size and quality.
GAC was eyeing the U.S. for Trumpchi’s next arena, but that likely won’t happen for another couple years at least. It seems part of that is due to the terrific blast of negative PR from simply from having a name similar to America’s president.