Great Wall eyes high-end SUV market


Workers assemble sport utility vehicles at a Great Wall Motor Co plant in Tianjin. [Photo/China Daily] 

Great Wall Motor Co Ltd, one of the major sport utility vehicle manufacturers in China, plans to launch its first high-end SUV brand in May, aiming to further expand its market share.

The model will be equipped with competitive technology, safety performances and design, according to Wei Jianjun, founder and chairman of Great Wall Motor.

Wei said the Wey model will be priced between 150,000 ($21,790) and 200,000 yuan, about 60,000 yuan more than its popular Haval models, the best-seller in the SUV market.

Sales of its star product, the Haval H6, have ranked first in the domestic SUV market for four consecutive years, with sales of 580,700 vehicles last year.

It sold 938,000 SUVs in 2016, giving it the top spot in China’s SUV market for the 14th consecutive year, with a share of 10.4 percent.

With its large customer base, the Baoding-headquartered company is embarking on developing its luxury SUV brand.

The goal is to upgrade its products and gain a bigger slice of the high-end SUV market, which is currently dominated by international brands, according to Wei.

Three Wey models will be launched this year, with two more due to follow next year.

Other automakers are also taking steps to upgrade their SUV offerings.

More than 40 new SUV models are due to be launched this year, according to Xu Haidong, assistant secretary-general of the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

Around 9 million SUVs were sold in China last year, an increase of 44.6 percent year-on-year, according to the CAAM.

Zhang Wenhui, vice-president of Great Wall Motor, said the company attaches importance to technology and innovation.

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