Great Wall has new ute hero

NT News - Motoring - - NEWS - By PAUL GOVER

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.

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