The entry level Haval H2 has been given a limited-time price cut in a move to stimulate both customer interest, and by extension sales.
The Chinese company’s so-called “premium SUV” competitor to the likes of the Mazda CX-3 and Mitsubishi ASX is now retailing for $24,990 driveaway in Haval H2 Premium front-drive guise with a six-speed manual transmission.
This is a saving of about $5000 in real terms, given the recommended retail price before on-road costs had been $26,490 since the brand launched in Australia in October 2015.
However, in what constitutes a strange move, no other variant in the H2 range — which comprises Premium and Lux specifications with six-speed automatic transmission options, plus manual Premium and Lux all-wheel-drive options — gets the same price cut.
This makes the jump to the H2 Premium auto 2WD ($28,490 before on-roads) over the discounted H2 Premium 2WD manual version almost $8000, once on-road charges are factored in.
The H2 Premium comes with no-cost two-tone paint, 18-inch alloys, a sunroof, 7.0-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity, rear-view camera, rear parking sensors, keyless entry and start, cruise control, and automatic headlights and wipers.
Standard safety features include six airbags, electronic stability control, active headrests and a tyre pressure monitoring system.
Under the bonnet is a turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol engine (with dual variable valve timing) producing 110kW of power and 210Nm of torque.
“From day one, the Haval H2 has always represented feature-packed motoring,” said Haval chief marketing officer Tim Smith. “Now with the Premium manual available for just $24,990 driveaway, it represents outstanding value for money as well.”
Haval Australia offers three models — the H2, the larger H8 and the flagship H9. The new H6 range launches around July. While the company does not publish sales figures, we understand it has delivered fewer than 50 cars so far.
As we have reported, the company has previously outlined its extremely bold ambition to be Australia’s top SUV brand, as it is in its Chinese home market, where it sold 700,000 units last year.
It has also flagged an interest in an Australia R&D operation — we are, after all, its first right-hand-drive market — and wants 20 national dealers and 3000 annual sales this year.
MORE: 2016 Haval New Cars