GREAT WALL MOTORS has become the first-ever brand to sell a Chinese-made car in Australia, announcing today that its V240 and SA220 dual-cab utes are now on sale nationwide.
A total of 45 dealers around the country have signed up to sell Great Wall's two utes, with Ateco Automotive the importer. Three basic variants of the two models will be on offer initially: the V240 4x2, the V240 4x4 and the SA220 4x2; with Great Wall outfitting each with a high level of standard kit.
The SA220 (known as the Sailor in its Chinese homeland) costs just $19,990 on road, while the V240 (aka Wingle) 4x2 starts from $23,990 and the V240 4x4 sells for $26,990 - also including on-road costs.
There's some surprising value for money on offer too, with leather seats as standard along with electric windows all round, air conditioning, foglamps, alloy wheels and a CD tuner (MP3 compatible on the SA220).
The two model lines each have a single engine on offer, with the SA220 receiving a 2.2 litre petrol four-cylinder and the V240 getting a 2.4 litre petrol four cylinder.
The 2.2 pushes out 78kW and 190Nm while the 2.4 produces 100kW and 200Nm. With the SA220 weighing 1525kg and the V240 4x2 weighing 1660kg, it's probably safe to say neither will be especially quick.
A five-speed manual is the only transmission available for the Australian Great Wall range.
The SA220 is able to haul a payload of 855kg, with the V240 range capable of carrying 1000kg. Both can tow an unbraked load of 750kg, with the addition of trailer brakes meaning the V240 can pull 2250kg and the SA220 1800kg.
With the absence of a grunty diesel engine in the line-up, Great Wall might experience some trouble getting Aussie tradies to give up their Tritons and Hiluxes.
However, with such keen pricing and strong standard equipment levels, the V240 and SA220 may find a niche among buyers looking for a budget ute who don't want to break the bank.
All cars come with a three-year/100,000km warranty, which should allay any fears of quality control issues. Will Great Walls first foray into the Australian market be a successful one? Watch this space.