Great Wall has new ute hero
HE arrival of two-door pick-ups from China has set the price of a Great Wall ute tumbling to $17,990 driveaway.
Great Wall first hit Australia with a limited line-up, with just a petrol-powered dual-cab ute, but the tradiefocussed two-door is expected to become the Chinese brand’s best seller as soon as the supply pipeline is filled.
It is still only available with a 2.4-litre petrol engine but the Great Wall importer, Ateco Automotive, plans to have a diesel online before the end of the year.
The new single-cab model comes with a dropside alloy tray, airconditioning, alloy wheels, power steering, remote central locking, a CD player and electric mirrors.
There is also a fourwheel-drive model, priced at $20,990.
‘‘We’re expecting the single cab to add 200 to 300 units a month,’’ said Ric Hull of Ateco, speaking to CarsGuide from China this week.
‘‘There will be some substitution but it will be the leader.
‘‘It is well priced, but it is a good unit and we haven’t skimped on anything.’’
Hull said the early success of Great Wall came despite market predictions that its models would not suit Australian buyers.
‘‘Nobody buys four-
Twheel-drive petrol manuals,’’ he said. ‘‘And nobody buys SUV manuals.
‘‘They were the two things that, if you listened only to VFACTS, would have put you off.
‘‘But because they are well priced they have sold quite well.
‘‘We were surprised with the makeup of the buyers of the dual cabs.
‘‘We thought it would all be tradies, but they didn’t make up the full component of the purchasing group.
‘‘With the single cab we’re targeting them directly.’’
The dual-cab V240 is selling about 200-250 vehicles a month but Hull said the usual June sales spike, as companies race to beat the end of the financial year, has not come this year.
Equipment on the singlecab V240 includes twin airbags and anti-skid brakes and Hull believes it will match the four-star ANCAP safety rating achieved by the latest Great Wall models after an early two-star failure by the dualcab V240.
‘‘They have made improvements to the vehicle that was crash tested,’’ Hull said.
Later in the year he believes the diesel will give Great Wall a big boost, as well as providing the power for a factory-built motorhome.
‘‘We hope to have a lefthand drive campervan in Sydney by the end of July, or shortly after that, to evaluate it.
‘‘Then we can look at the compliance issues and changing the access for right-hand-drive in Australia.