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Great Wall to ride in on new Steed

Horsing around: Great Wall will effectively relaunch in Australia later this year with the new Steed pick-up.

Steed name confirmed for rebirth of Great Wall ute in Australia

Great Wall logo14 Jun 2016

By TIM NICHOLSON

CHINESE ute specialist Great Wall has announced that it will adopt the Steed moniker for its forthcoming pick-up in Australia, eschewing the Wingle nameplate favoured in its home market.

The Chinese brand will return to the Australian market later this year after 18 months of uncertainty following a legal fight between former distributor Ateco Automotive and the newly formed Great Wall Motors Australia company that will take over the rights to the brand in July 1 this year.

Great Wall confirmed that its new-generation pick-up would take the Steed name that is also used in the United Kingdom when the range launches in the fourth quarter of the year.

Great Wall Motors Australia (GWMA) managing director Parker Shi explained the origins of the name and said the Steed would appeal to local buyers.

“In its home country, the Great Wall ute is called Wingle, which translates to ‘horse’. That’s why it has been called the Steed in the United Kingdom and why we have chosen that name,” he said.

“With its tough, rugged durability, we’re confident the Great Wall Steed will become a new best friend for many Australian farmers and tradesmen.”

Initially the Steed will be offered in dual-cab guise only, with a single-cab body style yet to be confirmed.

It will be available in 4x4 diesel, 4x2 diesel and 4x2 petrol variants and feature standard gear such as electronic stability control and six airbags for each variant.

As GoAuto has reported, the range will be topped by a 4x4 ute powered by a turbo-diesel engine matched with a six-speed manual gearbox, featuring a Borg-Warner torque-on-demand intelligent four-wheel drive system and Eaton differential lock.

Further specification details will be released in the lead up to the model’s launch and pricing is expected at the time of the launch.

As part of the deal struck in May, Ateco will continue to handle spare parts for another six months while GWMA develops its plan to incorporate them into its operation.

As GoAuto reported in May GWMA has been in contact with current and former Great Wall dealers and new Haval – Great Wall’s SUV sister company – dealers to see if they are keen to offer Great Wall products.

A spokesperson for GWMA said that so far, negotiations were “going well” and that the majority of dealers contacted so far were “keen” to maintain a relationship with the brand.

The Steed will enter the super competitive light-commercial vehicle segment and face tough competition from high-selling utes such as the Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger, Nissan Navara, Mitsubishi Triton, Holden Colorado and Isuzu D-Max.

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