Haval H2 and H6
The biggest SUV manufacturer you might not have heard of just arrived in NZ reports Damien O’carroll
It says a lot about the current record health of car sales in New Zealand that we have seen not one, but three new car brands launch in New Zealand so far this year. Luxury brand Infiniti landed here earlier this year, while VW Audi group’s Spanish brand Seat will be officially launching around the time you read this. But possibly the most significant player to appear in the local market is one you may well not even have heard of, and that is Haval. Why is Haval so significant to the New Zealand market? Well, Haval – a subsidiary of Great Wall – started life in 2002 and is currently the largest SUV manufacturer in China, having had the number one selling SUV slot in China for 15 years running. This alone is enough to make its top selling model, the H6, the 4th biggest selling SUV in the world, and the Haval brand recently ranked as the 4th most valuable SUV brand globally in a recent Brand Finance valuation. Started by Great Wall to be a high-spec SUV brand, Haval started expanding globally in 2015 and now has a presence in more than 30 countries worldwide and is establishing R&D centres in Germany, Japan, India and the USA. Haval launches into New Zealand with two models, the small H2 and the mid-size H6. The H2 is available in Premium ($25,990) and Lux ($27,990) versions and is powered by a 110kw/210nm 1.5-litre petrol turbo engine hooked up to a six-speed automatic transmission. The Premium comes standard with 18inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and start, a touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth streaming, a sunroof, cruise control, an automatic parking brake, rain-sensing wipers, automatic headlights, hill hold assist, tyre pressure monitoring, parking sensors and a backing camera. The Lux adds dual zone climate control, heated artificial leather electric seats, heated electric mirrors and a kerbside camera. The H6 also comes in Premium ($30,990) and Lux ($34,990) versions and is powered by a 145kw/315nm 2.0-litre petrol turbo engine, again hooked up to a six-speed auto. The H6 Premium comes standard with 17inch alloy wheels, dual zone climate control, blind spot monitoring, an electrochromic rear view mirror, keyless entry and start, tyre pressure monitoring, heated and folding electric mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, rear privacy glass, a rear view camera and blind spot monitoring. The H2 Lux adds 19-inch alloy wheels, a panoramic sunroof with an electric blind, xenon headlights, a sub-woofer for the audio system, heated heated artificial leather electric seats, heated rear seats and a kerbside camera. Haval launches into the local market with three dealers based in Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin, with more expected before the end of this year. The company also plans to launch the large 4WD seven-seat H9 model later this year, with the seven-seat H7 driving in 2018.