GREAT WALL MOTORS, the first Chinese automobile brand to launch in Australia, is about to broaden its appeal in the one-tonne ute market.
Great Wall importer, Ateco Automotive, has announced that a facelifted version of the V240 dual-cab ute will arrive in the first quarter of 2010. A single-cab version and diesel engine will also follow.
With sales already exceeding expectations, Great Wall is looking to capture a larger slice of the workhorse market with single-cab and cab-chassis models. The updated V240 will get additional safety equipment to address the ute?s 2-Star ANCAP rating.
A range of structural changes to enhance crash-worthiness, and the addition of pre-tensioning seatbelts, are expected to arrive with the updated V240. This is in addition to ABS brakes and dual airbags already fitted as standard.
Great Wall Motors' entry-level offering, the SA220 five door wagon, is based on older underpinnings and does not include ABS or a passenger airbag.
At this stage, no indication has been given for a safety upgrade to the SA220, which also scored only a 2-Star ANCAP crash safety rating.
The SA220 runs a 2.0 litre Chinese-developed four-cylinder which develops 78kW of power and 190 Nm of torque. The V240 features a Mitsubishi-sourced 2.4 litre engine producing 100kW and 200Nm.
While details of the diesel to be fitted to the V240 have yet to be announced, 2.0 litre and 2.8 litre egines developed by Bosch and shown at the 2008 Beijing Motor Show could be pressed into duty.
VFACTS figures show Great Wall Motors has sold 1020 cars to the end of October, with the V240 making 801 of those sales, followed by the SA220 on 201 and the recently released X240 SUV selling 18 units.