Great Wall of utes
Utilities spearhead the Chinese advance, writes KEVIN HEPWORTH
THE first of an expected wave of Chinese cars went on sale in Australia last week, costing more than expected and lacking basic safety features.
A pair of Great Wall utes spearhead what is predicted to be a tide of Chinese-made vehicles washing on to Australian shores.
However, neither of the Great Wall models has electronic stability control. The base model SA220 also has no airbags or antilock brakes.
When the Indian-built Mahindra Pik-Up and Toyota LandCruiser get their safety in the coming months it will leave the SA220 as the only car for sale here without a single airbag.
Neither of the Chinese models has been crash-tested for an ANCAP safety rating.
A Great Wall Motors spokesman says the car has been crashtested in China.
‘‘We are assured the company’s own crash testing is to the same standard as ANCAP,’’ he says.
And suggestions the Chinese models will become Australia’s cheapest cars will have to wait for the arrival of the small sedans early next year.
The Great Wall utes start at $19,900 for the 4x2 SA220 and top out at $26,990 for the 4x4 V240.
Australian importer Ateco Automotive has set up a 45-strong national dealer network to support the new brand.
The models have alloy wheels, power windows, leather-trimmed seats and airconditioning.
The spokesman describes the SA220 as the more ‘‘mature’’ of the two models.