Chinese invasion hots up
Great Wall is expanding, writes Neil Dowling
AT LEAST seven new Chinese models will hit Australia in 2011 as the China syndrome drives hard into local showrooms. Steadily climbing Australian sales is the first indication of the progression of China’s automotive march into our car market.
The first major Chinese make in Australia, Great Wall Motors, sold a solid 5561 commercial and SUV vehicles in the year to October 30. To put that into perspective, it’s more than Jeep, Lexus, Peugeot and Volvo.
Great Wall is to expand its foundation of commercial vehicles with passenger cars next year.
It will add the option of a diesel engine for its V-series utes and X-series (third quarter 2011); give the X-series a facelift about mid-year; and introduce a small car in the fourth quarter.
The biggest private carmaker in China, Chery, will start selling passenger cars and a small SUV in Australia from next March. These will be imported by Sydney-based Ateco Automotive.
Chery will first launch the J11 small SUV and then the J1 small car, before the J3 compact car in the second quarter of 2011.
The emergence of the Baojun brand is another indication of the momentum building behind China’s borders (see Page 38).
And WA-based John Hughes, who started the Hyundai ball rolling in Australia, has promised Geely small cars from January.
China makes about 1.3 million vehicles a month from 74 carmakers.
Most are joint ventures with global partners and are prohibited from exporting.
To ensure profits from car sales flow back into Chinese hands, only private and governmentowned factories are permitted to export.
CHERY J11 SUV