The Weekly Advertiser Horsham

GWM Oz set to launch ORA EV

- – Callum Hunter

The affordable electric vehicle battle lines are being drawn in the sand in Australia as more and more brands throw their hats in the ring as providers of budgetfrie­ndly, sustainabl­e mobility, and it seems the next big contender could be GWM.

It is no secret the Chinese manufactur­er has been looking to launch its own dedicated EV sub-brand, ORA, in Australia, but recent trademark filings with IP Australia point to more and more ducks being lined up and even revealing the most likely models to get a start Down Under.

Founded in 2018, ORA stands for ‘Open, Reliable and Alternativ­e’ and has been marketed in China and Europe as a ‘new generation of electric car’ specifical­ly for ‘stylish, smarter and safer’ city transport.

The first Ora-related trademark applicatio­ns were submitted on May 8 of this year and revolve around the brand’s badge – a plump exclamatio­n mark.

The emblem was filed under classes nine, computer programs; 12, vehicles; 35, marketing; and 37, vehicle refuelling and maintenanc­e, which is a clear indication of GWM’S intention to secure the logo Down Under in most relevant applicatio­ns.

On September 30, however, a trio of new filings was submitted specifi

cally relating to the ‘ORA’ brand name under all of the same classes as the emblem was.

The first two are really pretty simple; ‘GWM ORA’ and ‘ORA’, meaning the emblem now has both a full-length and shortened name to match.

The third one, however, ‘Aure’, is a little more mysterious as it seems like a model nameplate, but not one that is currently offered in existing ORA markets or mentioned on the brand’s global website.

Australia is not the only market to

have had the mystery nameplate submitted for trademarki­ng, with India being the other one of note, however outlets there have speculated the Aure to be a new Haval-branded SUV.

We are not so sure on the other hand, as Aure is a traditiona­l Latin and Greek name meaning ‘soft breeze’, perfectly aligning with the traditiona­l ethos and sustainabi­lity themes favoured by EV makers.

The link between the ORA brand and the Aure nameplate is their identical font style, which differs from that of the GWM Pickup division or Haval brand, virtually cementing their relationsh­ip – at least Down Under.

As usual with trademark applicatio­ns, there are no indication­s as to exact timeframes on ORA’S arrival in our market, let alone which models it will offer up first, but we would hazard a guess for it to be within the next few years given the amount of groundwork being laid.

GWM Australia and New Zealand head of marketing and communicat­ions Steve Maciver said the brand had recognised the growing importance of EVS and would love to offer ORA product here, but the project had not been given the green light, yet.

If it is given the green light, ORA would be wading into what’s quickly becoming one of the most important corners of the market, as more and more brands, both new and establishe­d, offer increasing­ly affordable sustainabl­e vehicles.

Just last week, the MG ZS EV was stripped of its crown as the most affordable EV offered in Australia by the BYD e6, however the first of the latter’s allocation­s only contained 15 units – the two models also occupy different segments.

“ORA is specially made for city travel advocating more stylish, smarter and safer travel mode,” the brand said at its 2018 launch.

“ORA’S vision is to become the leader in electric cars with targeted users of the new generation of urban youth who have open, friendly, happy and confident attitude to life.

“They are reliable and responsibl­e, love challenges, have their own value judgments about life and work, also they don’t follow the crowd.

“They are the slash youth of new urban life.”

 ?? ?? CONTENDER: A ‘new generation of electric car’ specifical­ly for ‘stylish, smarter and safer’ city transport will find its way to Australia.
CONTENDER: A ‘new generation of electric car’ specifical­ly for ‘stylish, smarter and safer’ city transport will find its way to Australia.

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