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GWM Oz gearing up to launch ORA EV sub-brand

New trademarks add fuel to the fire GWM Oz launching ORA EV brand here

20 Oct 2021

THE affordable electric vehicle battle lines are being drawn in the sand in Australia as more and more brands throw their hats in the ring as providers of budget-friendly, sustainable mobility and it seems the next big contender could be GWM.


It’s no secret that the Chinese manufacturer has been looking to launch its own dedicated EV sub-brand, ORA, in Australia, but recent trademark filings with IP Australia point to more and more ducks being lined up and even revealing the most likely models to get a start Down Under.


Founded in 2018, ORA stands for ‘Open, Reliable and Alternative’ and has been marketed in China and Europe as a “new generation of electric car” specifically for “stylish, smarter and safer” city transport.


The first ORA-related trademark applications were submitted back on May 8 of this year and revolve around the brand’s badge – a plump exclamation mark.


The emblem was filed under classes nine (computer programs), 12 (vehicles), 35 (marketing) and 37 (vehicle refuelling and maintenance); a clear indication of GWM’s intention to secure the logo Down Under in most relevant applications.


On September 30 however, a trio of new filings were submitted specifically relating to the ‘ORA’ brand name under all of the same classes as the emblem was.


The first two are really pretty simple; ‘GWM ORA’ and ‘ORA’, meaning the emblem now has both a full-length and shortened name to match.


The third one however – ‘Aure’ – is a little more mysterious as it seems like a model nameplate, but not one that’s currently offered in existing ORA markets or mentioned on the brand’s global website.


Australia isn’t the only market to have had the mystery nameplate submitted for trademarking with India being the other one of note, however local outlets there have speculated the Aure to be a new Haval-branded SUV.


We aren’t so sure on the other hand as Aure is a traditional Latin and Greek name (female) meaning ‘soft breeze’, perfectly aligning with the traditional ethos and sustainability themes favoured by EV makers.


The link between the ORA brand and the Aure nameplate is their identical font style which differs from that of the GWM Pickup division or Haval brand, virtually cementing their relationship – at least Down Under.


As usual with trademark applications, there are no indications as to exact timeframes on ORA’s arrival in our market, let alone which models it will offer up first, but we would hazard a guess for it to be within the next few years given the amount of groundwork being laid.


According to GWM Australia and New Zealand head of marketing and communications Steve Maciver, the brand has recognised the “growing importance” of EVs and would “love to offer” ORA product here, but the project hasn’t been given the green light “yet”.


If it is given the greenlight, ORA would be wading into what’s quickly becoming one of the most important corners of the market as more and more brands, both new and established, offer increasingly affordable sustainable vehicles.


Just this week, the MG ZS EV was stripped of its crown as the most affordable EV offered in Australia by the BYD e6, however the first of the latter’s allocations only contained 15 units – the two models also occupy different segments.


“ORA is specially made for city travel advocating more stylish, smarter and safer travel mode,” the brand said at its 2018 launch.


“ORA’s vision is to become the leader in electric cars with targeted users of the new generation of urban youth who have open, friendly, happy and confident attitude to life. 


“They are reliable and responsible, love challenges, have their own value judgments about life and work, also they don’t follow the crowd. They are the slash youth of new urban life.”

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