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Haval slashes H2 compact SUV price

H2 take 2: Haval's H2 compact SUV is now more affordable with driveaway pricing for manual versions.

Price cut and free on-roads for Haval H2 as Chinese brand pushes its entry SUV

Haval logo3 Mar 2016

By DANIEL GARDNER

SUV segment newbie Haval has bowed to the inevitable and slashed the price of its smallest model, the H2, as it fights to gain more traction in Australia's choice-flooded automotive marketplace.

Previously available from $26,490 plus on-road costs, the two-wheel drive H2 Premium is now on offer for $24,990 driveaway, representing a saving of more than $3000, and more in line with prices of established rivals.

The Chinese company has also confirmed that its fourth SUV model line, the mid-sized H6, is on target to land in Australia mid year, using the shortened H6 title instead of H6 Coupe, as it is known in China.

In the latest marketing moves to rev up sales of H2, no change has been made to specification or performance, with the 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol producing the same 110kW and 210Nm. It is matched to a six-speed manual gearbox.

Standard equipment includes six airbags, 18-inch alloy wheels, sunroof, 7.0-inch touchscreen, reversing camera, rear parking sensors, keyless entry and start, cruise control, rain sensing wipers, dusk sensing headlights and Bluetooth connectivity.

Haval Motors Australia chief marketing officer Tim Smith said the H2 price shuffle marked the start of the company's next phase in Australia.

“From day one, the Haval H2 has always represented feature-packed motoring,” he said.

“Now with the Premium manual available for just $24,990 drive-away, it represents outstanding value for money as well and a saving of more than $3000.

“It signals the next chapter in the growing Haval story, with some exciting news in the pipeline for the brand in Australia.” In parallel with the price reduction for H2, the company says its greatest focus is on getting “Australia's newest” car brand into the public eye and on to customers consideration set, and that a strategic marketing campaign was gaining traction.

In addition to more conventional promotion, Haval has been doing 'shopping centre activations' where shoppers can see the range of H2, H8 and H9 vehicles in person, as well as participating in games to win merchandise and a weekend with a Haval.

Speaking to GoAuto, Haval Motors Australia public relations specialist Andrew Ellis acknowledged the challenge ahead, but said activities like the “mini motor show” stand in retail centres have had a positive affect.

“It was sensational,” he said. “We were getting so much data, we booked hundreds of test drives and we were able to start building a database. The main question was – tell me about Haval.

“People are attracted by the car but their first question is 'who are you'. We know we've got to build that brand awareness and this is part of that.

“It's a very, very tough market out there and everybody is out there with lots of offers.” Haval's top seller to date is the H9 large SUV and, although Mr Ellis said the flagship had accounted for “about 50 vehicles at the moment” that number was growing. “It's small but we are getting there,” he said.

The car-maker was launched in Australia with three models but Mr Ellis confirmed that the trio will be joined by a fourth “mid-year” and that the model will be dubbed H6 and not H6 Coupe as is the title in China, where the model has been on sale for some time.

Beyond that, the range will be further bolstered by the arrival of the H7 at a time yet to be finalised. Mr Ellis said he had no information to offer on the H7, but he said he was expecting to “learn a lot more from the Beijing show” where the production model will debut.

As previously reported by GoAuto, the H7 is likely to showcase some electrification innovations for the company and may come to Australia as a plug-in hybrid only.

A growing model line-up will be supported by an expanding dealer network, and Mr Ellis confirmed that in addition to Queensland's first dealer, lots of work behind the scenes would result in a significant announcement “soon”.

“We are still on track to have 15 to 20 (dealerships) by the end of the year. There is so much going on behind the scenes. In the next few months you'll start to see some real changes.”

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