A new brand from China will soon enter the Malaysian market and besides offering completely built-up models, it will also have certain models assembled locally. The brand is Great Wall Motors (GWM), 35 years old in 2011 and the largest producer of SUV models in China last year. GWM is entering the market through its local partner and distributor, Green Oranges Sdn Bhd (GOSB).
GOSB may be a new name to most people but it’s been around since 2009 as part of the SMS Group of Companies. Its subsidiary MAZS Sdn Bhd has an assembly licence for commercial vehicle models, passenger car models over 1800 cc, ATVs and also rebuilt vehicles. It already has a plant in Gurun, Kedah, which can carry out SKD (semi knocked-down) and CKD (completely knocked-down) assembly operations and can handle up to 15,000 units annually (rebuilding, reconditioning and servicing). In the near future, MAZS will be upgrading the plant’s capabilities and a second phase of expansion will see the capacity increased to 20,000 units annually.
According to corporate information provided GOSB, it has a knowledgeable and accomplished management team with extensive experience founding and setting up business (Naza, Proton and Perodua are mentioned) in the automotive industry. The management team’s track record is shown as including setting up Proton and Perodua, setting up the Naza plant from ‘0’, developing more than 20 vehicle models, developing vendors and logistics systems, starting an export program to ASEAN and other countries, international networking, and global sourcing.
|Haval H5||Wingle 5|
GOSB’s vision and strategy is to be a producer of entry and eco-friendly vehicles via smart partnerships with other global players. It also aims to make Malaysia a production hub for such vehicles and wants to become a contract assembler for low-volume models.
Where the distribution of Great Wall models is concerned, two have been identified for introduction in Malaysia – the Haval SUV and Wingle 5 pick-up.
The Haval is one of the most popular SUVs in China and was in fact the best-selling in its class in June this year with over 11,000 units sold. It gained more exposure internationally earlier this year when it was entered in the Dakar Rally where it finished 22nd overall (at one stage, it was running as high as 12th overall).
|Haval H5 in the 2011 Dakar Rally||Wingle 5 for China market|
The version to be offered in Malaysia will be the H5, priced at RM120,000 with insurance. Size-wise, it is about the same as the Toyota Fortuner. It has a 2-litre commonrail diesel engine (110 bhp/310 Nm) with a Borg-Warner variable geometry turbocharger (VGT) for higher efficiency. Drive to all four wheels is via a 5-speed automatic transmission.
|Voolex C70 concept shows Great Wall’s more passenger car-oriented future model|
The Elite trim level that has been chosen for the H5 is a generous one with standard equipment like leather upholstery and a DVD player while safety features include 4-wheel disc brakes, dual front airbags and ABS with traction control.
Apart from emphasizing that scheduled maintenance costs are lower than other models in its class, GOSB also offers a 5-year/150,000 km (whichever occurs first) warranty with the H5. There’s also an auto-assist service provided for a 5-year period.
The Wingle 5 is a medium-sized pick-up that’s also popular in China and comes with 4×2 and 4×4 drivetrains. It is powered by a 2.5-litre diesel engine (109 bhp/300 Nm) with high-pressure commonrail fuel injection and a Mitsubishi turbocharger. Only a 5-speed manual transmission is available.
Priced from RM59,888, the Wingle 5 should attract buyers looking for an affordable sturdy workhorse that can also double as a daily commuter vehicle. It has leather seats and power steering, along with important safety features like ABS and dual airbags.
Besides Great Wall models, GOSB will also offer trucks from China’s Hafei and ATVs from Taiwan’s TGB.