Chinese SUV brand Haval says its commitment to the export market will see it fund and develop a range of new higher-output petrol and new diesel engines to better compete in markets such as Australia.
The Chinese brand launched its fifth dealer in Australia last week with the opening of the Performax-Haval centre in North Lakes, north of Brisbane.
Speaking to CarAdvice at the opening, Haval’s chief operating officer, Tim Smith, said that while Australia will make up a very small portion of Haval’s overall sales, the brand’s commitment to export markets would see it develop required powertrains.
“Unfortunately, due to the size of the Haval brand right now, it’s hard to force the factory to make manufacturing decisions based on less than 3.0 per cent of its volume” Smith told CarAdvice.
The Chinese brand is currently limited to a maximum capacity of 2.0-litre turbocharged engines, with no diesel powertrain offered across the range. The lack of additional powertrains will likely prove to be a limiting growth factor for diesel-loving SUV markets such as Australia and Europe in the short term.
“Haval is committed to the export market. If the export market requires different powertrain and sized engines, head office are very supportive of trying to bring them to market as soon as possible,” Smith said.
“We need to get a diesel and petrol engine of higher outputs to market very quickly. Very soon we will have very achievable timelines we can communicate to the dealer and the market [in regards to these engines].”
The brand is working on twin-turbocharged higher-output petrol engines amongst other powertrains and has hired engineers away from multiple German manufacturers to help it meet its desired goals.
Haval is also potentially interested in building a unique research and development centre in Australia sometime down the road as part of its global expansion plans.