Steane Klose | Jun 18, 2008

China is buying Australia’s Iron Ore by the ship load and will soon be shipping it back to us in the form of a double cab ute. News has just come through that the first Chinese automotive brand to debut in Australia will be Great Wall Motor or GWM.

Sydney and Auckland based importer Ateco has announced that their plans to bring GWM to Australia and New Zealand are well ahead of projections and we should see the Chinese built light commercial arrive here in October this year, to be followed closely by a single cab variant and an entry level light car.

Ateco has been negotiating with GWM for almost three years. Strict confidentiality agreements have precluded Ateco from confirming that it has not only concluded negotiations but it also has been working on homologating the first GWM vehicle to be sold in Australia. GWM will debut with a double cab Ute that will retail for well under $20,000 in both Australia and New Zealand.

“The GWM double cab Ute will be just the start. The Ute will be followed soon after with a single cab Ute, a compact SUV and an entry level light car. Pricing will be comparable to similar Korean models with a significantly higher specification,” says Ric Hull, Managing Director, Ateco Automotive Pty Ltd.

greatwall_doublecabute_badge_03a

GWM is one of China’s leading car makers and it has been consistently at the top of its domestic car market with its Ute and SUV models.

“From day one we have been thoroughly impressed with GWM. World class production facilities are becoming commonplace in China and there is no doubt that GWM has set the production benchmark. But what sets GWM apart is the corporate culture that permeates through the organisation. The company motto is ‘Improving little by little every day’ and from what we have seen the staff really do live and breathe this philosophy. Every time we go to GWM’s head office in Baoding, we are impressed by the progress that has been made since our last visit,” says Mr Hull.

Ateco plan to have a network of 50 dealers in place across Australia in time for the launch of GWM in October.

Full details, prices and specifications of the new GWM range will be announced when they go on sale in October.

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