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Market Insight: Big sales leaps for Great Wall and Haval

Coming: The incoming Great Wall Ute will help motivate sales for the Chinese brand.

New models and sharper deals lift buyer interest but Chinese pair still well down the list


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2 Nov 2020

FRESH from announcing a new ute for the Australian market later this year, Great Wall Motors is showing market interest in its current range with sales up almost 30 per cent this year compared with 2019.


Great Wall’s sibling, Haval, has performed even better. Its sales are up 90.3 per cent year-to-date with a 70 per cent jump in the month of September compared with the same month last year.


Great Wall Motors – which may soon adopt the acronym GWM now in place in some markets – is expected to aim the new ute into a higher bracket than its previous budget-class Steed.


The new market target will come with increased safety levels and more power to compete with rivals including the LDV T60 ute that is priced as low as $28,990 driveaway (for ABN holders) for a 4x4 dual-cab model with automatic transmission.


Great Wall currently sells five variants of the Steed ute – single-cab cab/chassis 4x2 and 4x4 diesel; 4x2 and 4x4 dual-cab ute diesel; and 4x2 dual-cab petrol. All have manual transmissions.


Ahead of the new ute, the Steed is in runout mode. One of the keys to buyer interest is the opening $19,990 driveaway pricing on both the dual-cab 4x2 ute and single-cab cab-chassis diesel, the latter including a tray.


Added incentive came from this year’s instant asset write-off for commercial vehicles up to $150,000 by the federal government and helped by the manufacturer’s increased warranty period.


In April last year, the company boosted the warranty from three years and 100,000km to a five-year/150,000km warranty with three years of roadside assistance.


Both have impacted on sales, with the entry-level 4x2 versions selling 182 units in September and 916 for the nine months of 2020. These are up 85.7 per cent and 40.3 per cent respectively on the same period in 2019.


Great Wall now has its ute range priced from $19,990 to $25,990 (dual-cab 4x4 diesel) including driveaway costs.


The 4x2 ute segment has eight players following the departure over the past year of the Mercedes-Benz X-Class, Holden utility and Holden Colorado. Of the eight, the Toyota HiLux dominates with 7069 sales in the year to date.


The Steed 4x2 holds seventh position, beating only the Volkswagen Amarok 4x2 version.


In the 4x4 segment, the Steed sold 442 units year-to-date for a 0.4 per cent segment share. Its result was up 11.6 per cent over last year in a market that fell 15.1 per cent.


The 4x4 class now has 16 entrants after the cessation of imports of the Holden Colorado and the Mercedes-Benz pair of the X-Class and G-Wagon.


Haval has three models in the market after dropping the large H8 SUV in 2018 in line with the end of its production. The remaining SUVs are the H2, H6 and H9.


Price has guided the brand’s upward trend, along with a move in late 2018 to a seven-year, unlimited kilometre warranty.


The H2 has been the brand’s biggest seller, finding 1376 new owners this year to date, up 122.7 per cent on 2019. For September, it sold 202 units, up 65.6 per cent on the same month last year.


In perspective, the H2’s sales growth is the biggest of the small SUV segment that, in total, fell 9.9 per cent this year compared with 2019. Yet its sales are still low, measuring about half that of the MG ZS and one-third of the volumes of the Suzuki Vitara.


The bigger H6 sold 593 units year-to-date, up 88.3 per cent, and for September, 119 vehicles, up 124.5 per cent. The H6 sits in the medium SUV segment and for the year, has almost doubled the sales of the Jeep Cherokee but is one-third of the sales of its fellow Chinese import, the MG HS.


The H6 has also strongly opposed the slide of the mid-size SUV sector average sales which are down 17.4 per cent on the previous year. Although its sales are up, total numbers of the H6 pale against the majors such as the Toyota RAV4 (27,111 sales) and Mazda CX-5 (15,595).


Haval has announced a third-generation H6 will be on sale in the Australian market by mid-2021. In China, the popular SUV will come with tech-focused features including 5G compatibility for V2X infrastructure communication, over-the-air updates, 9.0-inch touchscreen and 12.3-inch digital instrument screen of which most are expected to be included for this market.


The H6 will be Haval’s first with a new platform that is designed to accept internal-combustion engines and electrified powerplants.


Haval said it would also come with the latest safety features including AEB and have a 140kW/340Nm 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine.


Haval’s biggest model, the seven-seat H9, reflected some buyer disinterest in the large SUV segment. The category was down 20.8 per cent year-to-date but the H9 – which took on the buyers who once looked at the now-discontinued H8 – had a 5.7 per cent increase in sales for year-to-date and also the same percentage point rise for the month. The H9 sold 240 units year-to-date and 37 in September.


The only other Chinese contender in the large SUV class, the LDV D90, has sold 408 units this year and 80 in the month as it reported a 144.3 per cent growth this year compared with 2019.


LDV has no special buyer offers on its sole SUV – unlike the deals being done with the ute and van models – indicating the importers, Ateco Automotive, are happy with the sales level.

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