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Joint launch for Great Wall, Haval newcomers

Hit for 6: Haval’s H6 mid-sized SUV (left) and Great Wall’s Steed ute will both debut at a joint dealer launch for the Haval and Great Wall retail networks in September.

Haval H6 and Great Wall Steed to get dual Australian dealer launch in September


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20 Jul 2016

SO MANY Haval and Great Wall dealers have signed up for both franchises that the Australian distributor for the joint Chinese brands has decided to present Great Wall’s new Steed one-tonne ute together with Haval’s latest addition, the H6 mid-sized SUV, at a combined dealer launch in September.

So far, all seven Haval dealers have also put their hands up for the born-again Great Wall light truck franchise, while many Great Wall dealers have expressed interest in Haval’s complementary four-model SUV range.

Because of the retail network synergies of the two Chinese brands from the same factory, Haval Motors and Great Wall Motors Australia decided to hold a joint dealer launch, perhaps in the hope that a few of the Great Wall dealers who are undecided about Haval will jump on board once they sample the H6.

Haval and Great Wall public relations and product specialist Andrew Ellis said the Australian distributor expects to have signatures of 30 Great Wall dealers across Australia and 12 in New Zealand by the end of this month.

He said the network was expected to grow to 45 by the end of the year.

All of those dealerships were Great Wall outlets under the previous import arrangements via independent importer Ateco Automotive which transferred the rights to the factory distribution operation on July 1.

“So far we have not gone outside the previous Great Wall network in our appointments,” Mr Ellis said.

At its peak in 2012 when Ateco sold more than 11,000 Great Wall vehicles in Australia, the Great Wall network had at least 60 dealerships, including dedicated service centres.

The arrangement between Great Wall and Ateco unravelled over ex-factory pricing and related issues through 2014. Last year, Great Wall sales completely stalled as the two companies wrangled over get-out arrangements.

While the new-look Great Wall network is growing apace with most of the original dealers returning, the Haval network is also expanding.

Starting with just four dealerships – at Sydney, Perth and Geelong and Berwick in Victoria – when the brand was launched in Australia in October last year, the franchise has added new outlets in Brisbane and Wagga and expects to announce another batch for South Australia, Northern Territory and Tasmania in the next couple of months.

Mr Ellis confirmed that the Steed – called Wingle 6 in China – will be launched in September in Australia where it will be the sole Great Wall offering for the foreseeable future.

The Steed name – taken from the Chinese name Wingle, meaning horse – is already in use on the same product in the United Kingdom.

Initially, the Steed will be offered only in dual-cab form, in 4x4 diesel, 4x2 diesel and 4x2 petrol variants, with a decision yet to be announced on a single cab.

Haval’s range – the small H2, large H8 and full-sized H9 – will be expanded with the arrival of the H6, also in September.

Called H6 Coupe in China, partly to differentiate it from the older H6 sold there but also because of its lower, Evoque-style roofline, the five-door soft-roader will slot in between the H2 and the H8.

The original H6 will not be coming to Australia, as its safety standards are not sufficient to guarantee high ANCAP crash ratings.

The more modern coupe-style H6 not only gets greater safety but also Haval’s 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine producing 145kW of power and 315Nm of torque, along with a Getrag dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Next year, the Haval range is expected to grow to five with the arrival of the one-sized large H7 that was shown in production form at this year’s Beijing motor show in April.

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