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Chinese giant pushes deeper into market

Posted on: April 24, 2013 by Platinum Direct

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Sydney-based Ateco Automotive, the Australian distributor of Chinese Great Wall vehicles, has announced the release of four new models which should see the brand lift from its present lowly position to over 20,000 sales next year. This will effectively double the size of the business in Australia and the brand is to push harder into the passenger car sector.

According to the independent importer, Great Wall will add an extra four models in three segments: light, small and crossover SUV, and attain a running rate of 20,000 annual sales by the end of 2014. For point of reference, the projected sales figure is more than non-comparable brands Jeep, BMW or Audi sold here last year and less than 5000 units shy of Suzuki.

First off the blocks will be a facelifted version of the Toyota Yaris-sized (and similarly styed) VX10, which will launch in the third quarter of this year priced around $13,000. Ateco spokesman Daniel Cotterill said the VX10 would feature six airbags and stability control from launch, but stopped short of saying it would be Australia’s first five-star ANCAP Chinese car.

Joining the VX10 by year’s end will be a monocoque crossover SUV called H6, which will start a staggered roll-out from around quarter four. Initially, the H6 is likely to be available with a 2.0-litre petrol engine and manual gearbox, with diesel and automatic versions to follow in 2014. It will also be available in both four-wheel-drive and price-leading front-drive guise, the latter a first for Great Wall. (The H6 will replace the petrol-powered, separate-chassis X240 SUV that is currently priced from $23,990 drive-away, which will be discontinued at the end of 2013 due to the lack of ESC stability control.)

Next year will also see the addition of the Corolla-sized, sub-$20,000 VX30 hatch and marginally larger VX50 sedan. The VX30 is currently sold in China as a sedan, but Ateco is believed to be waiting for the hatch to launch before launching sales in the third quarter of 2014. The car is sold as the C30 in China, and Ateco admits one of the reasons for the switch was Volvo’s trademark of the C30 name here.

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