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ANCAP: Great Wall scores two stars again
Updates to Great Wall Steed do little to improve ANCAP rating
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26 Apr 2017
CHINESE manufacturer Great Wall’s Australian comeback has hit a stumbling block, with its Steed pick-up scoring a lowly two-star crash safety rating from the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) this week.
The crash safety watchdog tested the 4x2 petrol dual-cab version of the Steed, which Great Wall had marketed as being an all-new model, despite essentially being a facelifted version of the V-series that started life back in 2006.
The Steed scored just 16.49 out of a possible 37 points in the latest ANCAP test, matching the score and the two-star rating the V240 received back in 2009.
ANCAP chief executive officer James Goodwin criticised the Steed’s crash safety performance and took a swipe at the company’s claims that the pick-up would offer “outstanding levels of performance, value, safety and comfort”.
“This is a disappointing result for consumers and the brand,” he said.
“While the Steed is equipped with six airbags and electronic stability control, features which were not offered on the previous model, there has been little change to the vehicle’s structure to improve the safety of the passenger cabin.” ANCAP highlighted the lack of top tether child restraint anchorages as a reason that the vehicle is “not suitable for transporting young children”.
In the frontal offset test, the Steed scored 8.31 out of a possible 16, receiving zero points for lower leg protection, with ANCAP noting excessive footwell deformation and the separation of footwell panels and pedal displacement.
Driver knee injuries were possible due to steering column components while parts of the dash could also potentially cause injury to both the driver and passenger.
The Steed scored the maximum 16 points for the side impact test, a default score for larger vehicles according to ANCAP, but it was rated as ‘marginal’ in the whiplash protection test.
In the Steed’s technical report ANCAP said that it did not conduct a pole test or a pedestrian protection test “due to its poor performance in the frontal offset test”.
Great Wall Motors Australia public relations and product specialist Andrew Ellis said the company was disappointed by the two-star result, and that it was “taking immediate steps” to try and rectify the situation.
“We have sent all the data to our engineering team in head office and set up a response team to investigate what needs to be done to improve the ANCAP performance of our product,” he said.
Mr Ellis said Great Wall prioritised safety during vehicle development, with electronic stability control and six airbags offered as standard features across the range.
“We thought the additional safety features would help improve the Steed’s ANCAP rating. It’s clear to everyone in the organisation our ANCAP test standards need a dramatic improvement.”
Great Wall was relaunched in Australia in September last year under a new factory-backed operation alongside its Haval SUV sister brand and so far the Steed is its only offering.
Great Wall was launched by Ateco Automotive in Australia in June 2009 as the first serious Chinese brand to try its luck Down Under.
It recorded more than 40,000 sales in Australia before the brand was put on hold because of a distribution dispute between Ateco and the new factory operation, reaching a high of 11,006 Great Wall vehicles in 2012.
However, poor ANCAP crash test ratings, a number of safety recalls, an asbestos contamination scare and an average build quality record saw Great Wall sales dive by 44.5 per cent in 2013.
Great Wall is now competing with a number of other Chinese light-commercial brands in Australia, including Foton and, more recently, LDV.
As GoAuto has reported, LDV is so confident that its imminent T60 pick-up will achieve a five-star safety rating that it printed the ANCAP logo in a company brochure, which may pique the interest of ANCAP management given the T60 is yet to be tested.
In other ANCAP test results, the new-generation Hyundai i30 and Honda Civic hatch and sedan have received a five star rating.
The ANCAP rating for the i30 is based on the 35.01 out of 37 result that was awarded to the related Elantra sedan last year, and it applies to all i30 variants.
ANCAP has also adapted the Honda Civic sedan and hatch’s score of 34.68 from a recent ASEAN NCAP test and it also applies to all but the fire-breathing Type R version of the Civic.
The Civic hatch and the i30 both roll into showrooms early next month, while the Civic sedan went on sale in May last year.
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