However, while none of the cars will be making an appearance in Australia, the fleet does herald more metal Down Under, the Chinese carmaker says.
Since the Great Wall-owned SUV brand took on the unique Australian market in 2015, it has failed to garner the interest that a new range of SUVs would appear to warrant in our crossover-hungry market, but the company is touting a fresh volley at the end of the decade.
With left-hand drive-only production, the new H6 mid-sized SUV and F5 more coupe-profiled high-rider show cars that rolled out in Beijing will not be offered alongside the current Australian range but, speaking in Beijing, Great Wall Motor group chief executive and executive director Feng Ying Wang said right-hand-drive markets, including Australia, were a significant focus for the company.
“We have dedicated teams that are developing this in R&D for right hand drive models,” she said. “The real competitive products we will put into the Australian market from 2019.”
An exact date is yet to be confirmed for any Australian debut, but product planning vice-president Sam Chen said Haval would take a significant step up with three new models rolling on a new platform.
“If you want to fast forward to some of our future product, we’re excited to say our next-generation product will have a bigger change than we currently have up to now,” he said. “It will be a new platform and these will be a lot more competitive next-generation products.
“We are looking at our product strategy overall so we have to consider both left- and right-hand (drive) but we do promise that we will have at least two or three models for these markets. The key thing is that we want to have a product presence in each of the key segments (small, midsize and large).
“(The Australian range) is beyond these models here, so it will be the next generation.”
Over on the stage of Haval’s more premium brand, Wey, the carmaker presented a radical concept dubbed simply the X, alongside a pumped-up, high-performance RS7 SUV which, would appear to be a good match for the Australian market.
The Wey brand is yet to be confirmed for introduction locally but Wang said the company was considering Australia. “We are also positively exploring possibilities to sell the Wey products in the Australian market,” she said. “The first step is to get the popularity of Haval in Australian markets.”
Less likely is the introduction of Great Wall’s all-new Ora sub-brand, which made its debut in Beijing. It was created to cater for a specific corner of the Chinese market with a range of electric-only compact and sub-compact vehicles.
For the Australian Haval line-up, the incoming trio of models is likely to mimic the current range available in Australia including a new H2 compact SUV, a model to take care of the middle of the range with a new H6, H8 or perhaps F5, while the top end of the range will likely have a fresh version of the current range-capping H9.
In addition to the SUV line-up, Chen confirmed parent Great Wall would be upping its game with a new ‘pick-up’ that will surpass the company’s current no-frills fit, finish and refinement.
“This new pick-up we are working on, it will have very much an SUV type of interior space. It’s not so much the old style typical truck feel any more. You’re driving a pick-up but it feels like an SUV interior. That’s something we’re definitely moving more towards,” he said.
If the new, more refined Great Wall is offered in Australia, price-sensitive ute buyers will have another option in the budget end of the range creating a new rival for the Chinese-made Foton Tunland and India-sourced Tata Xenon for example.
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