A bold move to try and push deeper into our tricky market
Great Wall/Haval local management is considering market-leading warranties to convince skeptical Australians its little-known Chinese product is worth looking at.
While the group has no trouble selling cars at home — about 1.07 million in 2017 — it’s still battling to break through with Australian buyers.
Haval SUVs are decent enough but lack customer recognition and trust, while Great Wall’s woes with parts supply and recalls in the past, as well as a much more competitive ute market overall, are holding it back.
While a range of new global product in right-hand drive is expected around 2020 — comprising small, medium and large SUVs, plus a bigger Great Wall based on the Haval H9 four-wheel drive — that won’t be enough to get on shopping lists alone.
We understand the company is discussing a seven-year Haval warranty to match Kia, up from its already-strong five-year offering. For Great Wall, there’s an outside chance of a 10 year warranty to ‘celebrate’ the brand’s 10th anniversary in Australia.
Above: The current Haval H9
“We’re always looking at what we can do to raise the profile, warranty is something we are looking at and customers are looking at,” Great Wall Motors’ local PR head, Andrew Ellis, said.
“We’ve seen the seven year warranty, I’d say this would say to customers we are backing the product and are here for the long haul. [It’s] currently being discussed internally and we will then take it to China [the global executive team].”
We’re currently at the Beijing Motor Show, where Haval revealed the new F5 and H4 crossovers, plus the updated H6 — the latter of which racks up more than 500,000 sales per year in China.
It also revealed the Wey-X (pictured below) autonomous concept, alongside the Wey P8 luxury plug-in hybrid, and staged the world premiere of its zero emissions Ora sub-brand as well. All of these brands (Great Wall, Haval, Wey and Ora) exist under the Great Wall Motor umbrella.
We spoke with Great Wall Motor chief executive Wang Fengying, the only woman to lead a car company in China, while at the show this week.
“I hope and believe you will see… that the Chinese motor industry has more advanced tech, improved quality and smarter vehicles,” she said through an interpreter.
“We believe for a Chinese manufacturer to tap into the Australian market is a very exciting thing for us.
“We understand the volume might not be as strong or enough at the moment, but we think Australian consumers will accept our products in quick time.
“As you know the Chinese market is growing up and catching up with Eu regulations, so when we are making our standards more strict, it will help is to catch up [everywhere].”
What do you think, could a long warranty convince you to look at something Chinese?