Great Wall says its new-generation Model P pick-up has the potential to outsell the Ford Ranger in international sales, thereby ranking it as a top-three player in the global light ute game.
One of the Chinese carmaker’s top executives made the bullish claim at the unveiling of its next-generation ute at the 2019 Shanghai Motor Show.
Its Australian market name is yet to be announced, but the new model represents a dramatic improvement over its workmanlike second-generation Steed ute, with SUV levels of comfort and technology not found in many of its rivals.
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For a start, the company says it’s the first ute that’s offered with separate variants designed to suit the specific needs of commercial, passenger and recreational users.
Great Wall brand director Habao Zhang said the company is expecting to see a boost in sales next year after it transitions from the Steed to the Model P range in China.
Steed sales totalled more than 130,000 in 2018, and Great Wall has set a target of 200,000 Model P sales in 2020.
That figure is expected to keep growing through 2021 and beyond as its introduction continues to more than 30 international markets including Australia and New Zealand.
“We will make every endeavour to be the top three compact and mid-size Pick-up in the overseas markets,” Zhang said.
Based on 2018 sales, Great Wall’s target of making the light commercial pickup segment’s top-three global sales list by the middle of its life-cycle seems feasible.
Not surprisingly the segment is led by the ubiquitous Toyota Hilux that, according to the Global Auto Database, racked up 543,313 sales around the world last year, followed by the Isuzu D-Max (301,629) and GMC Sierra (274,198).
Meanwhile 267,153 Ford Rangers were sold globally in 2018, with sales expected to rise this year now it’s available in the US market.
Zhang explained that one way the company is looking to expand its share in each market is by offering a tailored approach to suit their idiocentric requirements.
“The different markets will have different customer studies into the customer needs in those markets. Based on those needs we will have local engineering and testing for those products.”
The Great Wall Model P is expected to go on sale in Australia by the end of 2020. While it’s still too soon to discuss pricing and specifications, it’s believed the mid-tier ‘Passenger’ version, with its plush SUV-like interior, will be priced from about $35,000.