2020 has opened with the news of another Chinese automaker confirming its plans for an entry into India, and first into the thriving SUV market. Great Wall Motors, China's largest SUV and pickup manufacturer, today confirmed plans for the India market through a visual tweet.
Great Wall Motors, which has four brands Haval, Wey, Ora and Great Wall Pickup, entry comes hot on the heels of MG’s successful launch in India of its feature-rich and large-for-its-price Hector SUV. Based in Baoding Hebel, around 150km south of Beijing, Great Wall Motors is currently scouting for the best location to set up a manufacturing plant. What's more, in just about a 35 days from today, it will showcase products from its successful brand Haval at the upcoming Auto Expo 2020.
Haval to showcase three SUVs at Auto Expo 2020
According to sources, the stand will have three of Haval's successful SUVs – the H4, H6 and H9 – on display. A couple of electric cars from sister brand WEY are also likely to be showcased.
The model Haval will focus on, and the one that is set for a 2021 market launch in India, is the H4. Larger than the Hyundai Creta, the recently face-lifted H4 is a sharp-looking SUV with a clean new nose, an attractive stance and a side profile that is reminiscent of the Jeep Compass. The H4 shares its platform with the larger H6, it is 4.4 metres long, and is built on a substantial 2,660mm wheelbase. Power from its 170hp, 1.5 turbo-petrol goes to the front wheels, and it also has a dual-clutch automatic transmission to enhance the luxury appeal. There’s a smaller 1.3 petrol unit as well, and for India, the company could bring in a diesel engine that’s possibly sourced from Fiat.
The larger H6 is based on the same platform as the H4 but will have a longer 2680mm wheelbase and an increased length of 4.6 metres. The H6, Haval’s highest-selling model, is among the most successful SUVs sold in China. It carries a clean European look, with an Audi-like grille and headlight combo, and a rear design that’s very German.
The H6’s cabin is also impressive; the design is a bit asymmetrical but material quality and fit and finish are so good, they could give the Koreans and Japanese a run for their money. The H6, like the Hector, will be loaded to the gills. Expect equipment such as a part-digital instrument panel, 8.0-inch touchscreen, panoramic sunroof, curtain airbags, ESP, and even the possibility of a four-wheel-drive system. It is also likely to be powered by larger, more powerful engines, like a 2.0-litre petrol and diesel.
The largest SUV from Haval on display will be the 4.8m-long H9. A body-on-frame SUV that weighs 2.2 tonnes, the facelifted H9 comes with plenty of hardcore off-road kit. A rival to the Ford Endeavour and Toyota Fortuner, it gets a low-range transfer case, locking rear differential and 206mm of ground clearance; which means it could actually be very handy off road. There’s the same 2.0 diesel available and a 240hp petrol as well. The highlight, however, is the roomy and high-quality cabin that's loaded with kit Indian customers are likely to appreciate. It will be battle royal for sure when the SUV goes up against the MG/Maxus D90 – another body-on-frame SUV of similar spec and sophistication.
Haval powers Great Wall Motors sales in November
Great Wall Motors sold a total of 115,162 units in November 2019. Of this, Haval SUVs accounted for 83,378 units or an overwhelming 72 percent. Of Haval's total sales, the H6 – Haval's best-seller – accounted for 41,676 units or 50 percent.
Source: Autocar India