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Future models - Haval - ute

Haval one-tonne pick-up on the cards

Ute muster: Haval’s parent company Great Wall Motors is working on a one-tonne pick-up with a hybrid powertrain option to take the fight to the likes of the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux in 2020.

HiLux-baiting ute coming from Chinese Haval with petrol, diesel, hybrid options

Haval logo29 Jan 2018

By TUNG NGUYEN

HAVAL is plotting a rival for the Australian market-leading Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger with its own Chinese-made one-tonne ute that will be offered with petrol, diesel and hybrid powertrains from 2020.

Revealing plans to local journalists, Haval Motors Australia public relations and product specialist Andew Ellis said the company aims for the new, unnamed pick-up to be offered with a three-tonne towing capacity, eight-speed automatic transmission and a range of engine options including at least one electrified option.

Mr Ellis said the pick-up will be due at the turn of the next decade and would be offered worldwide as Haval’s parent company Great Wall Motors looks to meet growing global demand of one-tonne utes.

“In 2020, (we will release) an all-new ute,” he said. “This will be a global truck.

“This is what the market is demanding and they (Great Wall Motors) are responding to that.

While Great Wall has usually been the brand most-associated with light-commercial vehicles in the past, Mr Ellis revealed that there is still a debate on whether the new ute would be badged as a Haval to sit alongside the likes of the H2, H6 and H9, or whether it will sit next to the Great Wall Steed on showroom floors.

“Great Wall is now almost the umbrella company with these three brands (Haval, Wey, upcoming low-emissions Ora) underneath, we see no reason why we couldn’t call this a Haval, but that’s definitely a topic of discussion,” he said.

The shift to a more mainstream, lifestyle-oriented ute as opposed to the utilitarian philosophy of Great Wall’s current pick-up, the Steed, is a direct reaction to the influx and popularity of big-name pick-ups into China, according to Mr Ellis.

“This has been really good news for us, what’s happened in China over the last 12 months,” he said. “Previously, it used to be (that) diesels were a no-go zone in the city centre, you weren’t allowed to drive diesel ute anywhere in the city centres.

“That’s all changed simply because of the ongoing development of the country and they’re seeing stuff like the (Ford) F-150 and (Chevrolet) Silverados and they want those trucks, so they’re coming in and they’re selling.”

Haval’s push into the light-commercial pick-up market will be sized to compete directly against the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux, said Mr Ellis, and that Australian input into the project will be vital given the local market’s healthy appetite for one-tonne utes.

“We’re actually a source of a fair bit of information on that because of the popularity of those vehicles here,” he said. “So you’re looking at (Ford) Ranger, (Toyota) HiLux, (Volkswagen) Amarok –using those as a basis.”

Although petrol, hybrid and diesel powertrains are promised to be in the mix, it is still too early to predict which powertrains could be on offer.

Haval’s recently updated H9 large SUV is motivated by a 180kW/350Nm 2.0-litre turbo-petrol motor, but sister brand Great Wall also employs a 110kW/310Nm oil-burning powerplant with the same displacement.

Great Wall Motors’ Wey luxury brand also ushered in the group’s first production hybrid engine in the form of the P8 SUV powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine matched to two electric motors to deliver a combined output of 250kW/520Nm.

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