A rapid product expansion is planned for Great Wall in Australia, with two all-new passenger cars arriving later this year and a further two in 2014.
Local importer Ateco Automotive aims to sell 15,000 Great Wall vehicles here this year, and 20,000 annually once all four new models are introduced – almost double the 11,000 Great Walls sold in Australia in 2012.
While a cosmetic-only facelift for the Great Wall V240 ute is scheduled for later this year, the X240 compact SUV will be replaced by the H6 (pictured below), which utilises an all-new monocoque platform and will have a “price leader” two-wheel-drive manual option. The current Great Wall X240 is built on a separate chassis platform.
The H6 utilises a range of Mitsubishi petrol and diesel four-cylinder engines, and will, like the X240, continue to be priced in the low 20-thousand dollar bracket.
In October this year, Great Wall will introduce its first passenger vehicle, the VX10 (pictured top). Described by the company as a “Yaris-type” hatchback, the VX10 is larger than a Chery J1 but smaller than the Chery J3. Great Wall says it will be priced similarly to a J3, which is currently retailing at $12,990 driveaway.
The VX10 – called the C10 in China – will get six airbags and stability control standard, but Great Wall general manager Peter McGowen is cautious to predict the light hatchback could be China’s first five-star ANCAP rated car.
“We’re trying to get up there,” he stated.
Next year Great Wall will add to its passenger car lineup with the VX30 small car (pictured below) and VX50 large car (pictured bottom).
The addition of passenger cars to the Great Wall range means it will quickly overtake Chery for passenger car sales in this country, according to Ateco forecasts. Ateco Automotive imports and sells both Great Wall and Chery brands, but says the quicker expansion of Great Wall is reflective of that company’s greater engineering abilities and popularity in China.
“Part of the growth of Great Wall in China over the last 18 months to two years has been on the back of passenger car development,” McGowen said.
“They were always a market leader in SUVs, and utilities … they were never really on the radar because they weren’t in the passenger market.
“When they started developing passenger cars, the C30 [VX30] is extremely popular in China … now they’re the number one independent in China”.
Since Ateco launched the Great Wall brand in 2009, more than 30,000 vehicles have found Australian homes. The dealer network currently stands at 87 outlets, which isn’t expected to expand as the company predicts a purely product-led sales increase.
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