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Great Wall passenger car confirmed for Oz

C you soon: Great Wall’s first passenger car, the Voleex C10, should be here by early next year.

Ateco confirms Great Wall’s first passenger car will be here within six months

11 Aug 2011

CHINESE ute and SUV specialist Great Wall is branching out into passenger cars Down Under, the first of which will almost certainly be a five-door light hatchback known in China as the Voleex C10.

Great Wall importer Ateco’s Chinese brands spokesman Daniel Cotterill told GoAuto the small passenger car is “still on the agenda”.

“It just hasn’t proceeded quite as quickly as Great Wall or Ateco had hoped but it is still on the way,” he said.

Originally pencilled in for the fourth quarter of this year, it now looks like Great Wall hatch will arrive in Australian showrooms early in 2012.

“It could still be late this year, but it wouldn’t surprise me if late this year did become early next,” said Mr Cotterill.

As GoAuto has reported, the C10 is a five-door, five-seat hatchback offered in China with a choice of 1.3-litre 68kW/118Nm and 1.5-litre 77kW/138Nm four-cylinder petrol engines, each in a choice of two equipment levels, Luxury and Elite.

Unlike many Chinese light cars, the C10 comes with an automatic transmission alternative – a continuously variable transmission (CVT) – alongside the standard five-speed manual gearbox.

61 center imageLeft: Great Wall Voleex C10 - including both grille designs.

Standard equipment includes air-conditioning, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, electric windows and central locking. To satisfy new federal rules effective from November this year, the cars must also come fitted with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) as standard.

“We had a left-hand drive version out here for a dealer function earlier this year just to give some illustration of what we’ve been telling people about,” said Mr Cotterill. “It was quite a nicely put-together little car.” True to Ateco’s Chinese import policy, the C10 is likely to be offered in one high specification with just a choice of colour and perhaps a sunroof as an option.

The company already imports Chery-branded Chinese passenger cars for sale in Australia, although they are not yet sold in Victoria due to a lack of ESC.

The C10, also known in China as the Phenom, is sold with two distinct front-end styles, one that plunges below the numberplate Audi-style with bold diagonal chrome grilles, the other with a more conventional-looking face.

When GoAuto spoke with Ateco about the car in May, Mr Cotterill said the company was finalising some details, including the front-end fascia design.

Other potential future Great Wall passenger cars for Australia include the Corolla-sized C50, the brand’s first sedan. The C50 will be powered by a choice of two 1.5-litre four-cylinder engines – a turbo producing 98kW of power and 188Nm of torque or a naturally aspirated version with 77kW/138Nm.

According to its Chinese website, Great Wall plans to sell 12,000 vehicles in Australia this year, almost doubling its 2010 volume of 6690 units.

The new diesel-powered V200 ute and X200 SUV will have to hit the market soon and sell well if the brand is to achieve its aims, as so far it has missed the required 1000 average monthly sales rate by 350 units.

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