It’s been a year since Green Oranges Sdn Bhd (GOSB) introduced China’s Great Wall Motor’s vehicles to Malaysia. Great Wall Motors (GWM) may be a new name to Malaysians but it has been manufacturing vehicles in China for 36 years, and is today the largest producer of SUVs and pick-ups.
GOSB has been steadily increasing the brand’s presence on Malaysian roads, and is already assembling two models – the Haval H5 SUV and Wingle 5 pick-up. The models are assembled at its affiliated plant in Gurun, Kedah which, in future, will have a capacity of up to 20,000 units annually.
Following the growing acceptance of the H5 and Wingle 5, GOSB has announced plans to widen the GWM range with the addition of the Haval M4 and H6 models during the second quarter of 2013. The Haval brand is used for the SUV range and last year gained wider recognition when a H5 entered in the Dakar Rally finished the gruelling event in 22nd place overall (running as high as 12th overall at one point).
Looking a bit like the Toyota Ist hatchback, the M4 is a compact SUV with a length of 3.9 metres and width of 1.7 metres. It uses a 1.5-litre petrol engine with variable valve timing which produces 105 bhp/138 Nm. As consumers in China have yet to make the switch to automatics, GWM offers the M4 only with a 5-speed manual transmission and no automatic option for now.
As for the H6, this is a larger model than the H5 and adds a premium product to the Haval brand. It is built at the company’s modern factory in Tianjin which began operations last year. The 4.6-metre long H6 is described as an ‘Urban Smart’ SUV and offers more advanced technological features than other Haval models.
The engine options are a 2-litre turbodiesel and three petrol engines ranging in size from 1.5 litres to 2.4 litres. However, as GOSB has provided only the spec sheet for the 2-litre petrol engine, it is likely that this is the option that will be available in the Malaysian market. This engine, coded ‘4G63’, is adapted from a Mitsubishi Motors powerplant that would be familiar to Malaysians. It has an output of 133 bhp/136 Nm with a full-time intelligent 4WD system and possibly a 6-speed automatic transmission.
“After the Haval H5 won the ‘SUV of the Year’ award from NST’s Cars, Bikes & Trucks last year, the Malaysia public has responded differently towards GWM products. Their confidence level is higher towards the quality of China-made cars and they are less sceptical,” said Mohd. Azli Tan Sri SM Nasimuddin, GOSB’s CEO. “Though they are very choosy when buying a vehicle, the recognition shown by winning the awards makes them willing to consider buying a GWM vehicle.”
Related article: Green Oranges introduces Great Wall vehicles in Malaysia