China’s number one SUV brand, Haval, has confirmed its entry into the Australian market.
Haval today invited media to a launch event in the Yarra Valley at the beginning of December, where it’s expected to introduce its range, announce its dealer network, and outline its targets and ambitions.
A sub-division of Great Wall Motors, Haval will initially launch the large H8 SUV before expanding its local range with the size-larger H9 and sub-compact H2 crossover.
The Haval H8 is a similar size to the Jeep Grand Cherokee, measuring 4807mm long, 1975mm wide, 1794mm tall, and riding on a 2915mm wheelbase.
Under the bonnet sits a 2.0-litre four-cylinder direct injection turbocharged petrol engine producing 160kW of power at 5500rpm and 324Nm of torque between 2000-4000rpm.
A ZF six-speed automatic transmission sends power to either the rear or all four wheels, and is joined under the surface by sophisticated double wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension.
Unlike Australia’s existing cut-price, made-in-China models, the Haval H8 boasts impressive safety credentials, coming standard with six airbags (dual front, front-side, and curtains), electronic stability control, hill start assist and hill descent control, reverse-view camera, rear sensors, and a tyre pressure monitoring system.
Two specifications will be offered in Australia: Standard and Luxury. The entry model is equipped with 18-inch alloy wheels, auto xenon headlights, daytime running lights, foglights with cornering function and auto wipers. The cabin gets keyless entry with push-button start, sunroof, leather upholstery, electric front seats (eight-way driver, four-way passenger), 60:40 split rear seats, leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel with paddleshifters, three-zone climate control, an 8.0-inch touchscreen, and a nine-speaker audio system with subwoofer, AUX and USB ports and Bluetooth phone connectivity.
The Luxury grade adds 19-inch alloys, adaptive xenon headlights, electric tailgate, seat and mirror memory function, electric anti-glare rear-view mirror, enhanced Infinity audio system, air purification system, and a rear armrest.
Pricing is expected to be announced at Haval’s launch event in December.
The H2 will compete with the likes of the Nissan Qashqai and Hyundai ix35, while the H9 is a rival to the Toyota Prado and Isuzu D-Max.
Haval Motors Australia is headquartered in Melbourne. Its public website is up and running, though at this stage it says its sales network is “under construction”, with the brand “actively recruiting dealer partners in Australia”.