As far as new, made-up car brand names go, Vantas isn’t bad. It feels like the premium brand it’s intended to be, sort of a heavily yet vaguely European-accented way to say half of the word “fantastic” or “fantasy.” Vantas is the name chosen by China’s giant Chery Automobile company to sell premium SUVs in America, and while the brand is Chinese, the plan is to build them in the United States. We’ll see, I guess.
The venture is thanks to an agreement between Chery and HAAH Automotive Holdings, who we’ve heard from before with their plan to sell a crossover called the Zyote T600 in America. HAAH Automotive Holdings seems to be planning an all-online sales model, describing the process as:
The online sales process will be implemented using HAAH’s unique modern digital platform with an industry-leading 100% cloud-based system which combines the ERP and Dealership Management System (DMS) to support VANTAS and Dealer Operations.
This unique system design comes from an integrated and open API platform which will provide real time transactions and visibility for all users increasing speed and precision.
This system is the next generation in the automotive industry, giving VANTAS technological superiority not available from any other manufacturer today. It will provide a 360-degree view of customers for dealers and VANTAS personnel with each having access to a single version of the data (single version of the truth) to provide customer excellence for service and support. Sharing this data allows HAAH to offer a new, transparent, customer friendly selling process, faster handling of customer purchase and service issues, and improved dealer parts fulfillment.
So, buying cars off a website, I guess?
The vehicle itself appears to be based on the Chery Exeed TX SUV, sold in China since 2018. Recent versions of the Exeed have eliminated any Chery branding, and the Vantas versions appear very close to this, with Vantas branding.
The design of the Vantas TX isn’t bad at all, if a little anonymous. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as I expect one of the goals of a new brand is to be able to fit right in with existing brands, and the Vantas should have no trouble doing that.
The overall design reminds me a bit of a more conformist Lynk & Co 01, with less risks taken on the front-end design. I think the grille treatment feels upscale and clean, and it’s overall fairly handsome. If they have any issues selling, I don’t think its because the design was too risky.
The interior design seems modern and up-to-date, with high-resolution displays inset into the HVAC knobs and what looks to be Apple CarPlay available in the UI.
Some of the pictures from the Vantas website still show cars with Exeed branding, as you can see above.
The available engines—assuming they retain the Exeed’s options—do seem a bit small: for a premium SUV: a 1.6-liter turbo four, and a 1.5-liter four with a hybrid electric assist. From what I can tell from the Exeed’s website, the 1.6 makes about 197 horsepower and is bolted to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, which seems competitive enough.
I’m guessing all-new marketing will be done for Vantas in America, as the English version of the Exeed site has a strange self-help sort of feel to it:
It also appears that the Vantas lineup could later include a larger, three-row SUV, as there’s a picture of one teased on Vantas’ website:
So far, there’s no known information about price or any other details, so we’ll just have to wait and see. The track record for new-to-America Chinese marques isn’t exactly stellar, as, so far zero have managed to pull it off, but perhaps this will be the one.