The first shipment of Great Wall Steed utes has arrived in Australia ahead of the brand’s formal return to the market on September 5.
The Chinese brand has confirmed it will launch with a three-model range with one-tonne payloads, all sporting a dual-cab body-style in either 4x4 diesel, 4x2 diesel and 4x2 petrol configurations.
The marque will, it boldly claims, “usher in a new era for value for the Australian light commercial market” in Australia, meaning it’ll be much cheaper than the already budget-focused offerings among the established rivals, such as the Mitsubishi Triton, and even the Chinese Foton Tunland.
All variants in the Great Wall range will get six airbags, cruise control, Bluetooth, dual-zone climate-control air conditioning and heated front seats.
Headline models are expected to have a 100kW/310Nm turbo-diesel engine with six-speed manual transmission, plus a Borg-Warner torque-on-demand intelligent four-wheel drive system and an Eaton diff lock.
The company recently announced its plan to return as a full in-house national distribution network run alongside sister brand Haval headquartered in Melbourne, the latter of which sells SUVs marketed as semi-premium.
Great Wall went on sale in Australia in 2009, and under its previous distributor Ateco Automotive (which now imports Foton and LDV), sold about 40,000 utes and SUVs, peaking at more than 11,000 units in the year 2012.
Great Wall Motors Australia managing director Parker Shi said negotiations with the previous sales network were “going well”, with 50 dealers already committing to the brand to provide Australia-wide coverage at launch.
“The dealers have been impressed by the new Steed and our commitment to customers,” he said.
“We are determined to offer new levels of customer service. We have already been overwhelmed by the positive response from many of the existing customers to the new Great Wall Australia organisation.”