Never Say Die: Great Wall Wants To Export To Europe, U.S.

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

Everybody is afraid of China swamping the world with low cost cars, but it hasn’t happened. As a matter of fact, Chinese car exports are downright horrendous. In the first seven months of this year, China exported 288,900 units. China imports far more cars than it exports. For the next year, more than 1m of imports are expected. This doesn’t keep Chinese car manufacturers from trying their luck abroad.

Great Wall Motor plans to make a sales push into Europe, the US and Africa despite potential obstacles to market entry, said Shi Qingke, deputy general manager of Great Wall’s international department to The Global Times, the English version of People’s Daily.

“Great Wall aims to export to the UK starting early next year, allowing us to break into the Western European market,” Shi told the Global Times. “We plan to make our debut in the US market with premium products in 2014 or 2015.”

Great Wall will enter Europe in cooperation with the I.M. Group, the UK-based importer and distributor for Subaru, Isuzu and Daihatsu vehicles.

“For ambitious Chinese automakers, expansion abroad has not always been smooth,” mentions the Global Times. That’s the understatement of the day.

In April, Brilliance retreated from Europe after the BS4 and BS6 sedans were turned unsalable by poor crash test results – some with dubious circumstances. The German ADAC always can be counted on lending a helping crash test when a Chinese shows up. Actually, it was a Great Wall car, a Landwind, that had the dubious honor of having been the first Chinese car that was driven into a wall by the ADAC. The 2007 crashtest, as seen in the video, ended the career of the 4×4. Great Wall wants to try again.

Great Wall also plans to construct production facilities in Bulgaria, the Philippines, Senegal, Venezuela, South Africa, Brazil and Malaysia in the next three years.

The top five automakers by January-July exports are Chery Auto (46,900 units), Changan Auto (36,000 units), Great Wall Motor (32,800 units), Dongfeng Motor (25,500 units) and Beijing Auto (20,900 units). Yawn.

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  • Blowfish Blowfish on Sep 14, 2010

    Middle Kingdom had built Panzer wagen before, so why not built it like panzers?

  • Gimmeamanual Gimmeamanual on Sep 14, 2010

    Great Wall has two things going for it: 1. A nationalistic brand name with a perfect emblem. 2. Sexy Hover pics on Gasgoo.

  • Zerocred So many great drives:Dalton Hwy from Fairbanks to the Arctic Circle.Alaska Marine Highway from Bellingham WA to Skagway AK. it was a multi-day ferry ride so I didn’t actually drive it, but I did take my truck.Icefields Parkway from Jasper AB to Lake Louise AB, CA.I-70 and Hwy 50 from Denver to Sacramento.Hwy 395 on the east side of the Sierras.
  • Aidian Holder I'm not interested in buying anything from a company that deliberately targets all their production in crappy union-busting states. Ford decided to build their EV manufaturing in Tennessee. The company built it there because of an anti-union legal environment. I won't buy another Ford because of that. I've owned four Fords to date -- three of them pickups. I'm shopping for a new one. It won't be a Ford Lightning. If you care about your fellow workers, you won't buy one either.
  • Denis Jeep have other cars?!?
  • Darren Mertz In 2000, after reading the glowing reviews from c/d in 1998, I decided that was the car for me (yep, it took me 2 years to make up my mind). I found a 1999 with 24k on the clock at a local Volvo dealership. I think the salesman was more impressed with it than I was. It was everything I had hoped for. Comfortable, stylish, roomy, refined, efficient, flexible, ... I can't think of more superlatives right now but there are likely more. I had that car until just last year at this time. A red light runner t-boned me and my partner who was in the passenger seat. The cops estimate the other driver hit us at about 50 mph - on a city street. My partner wasn't visibly injured (when the seat air bag went off it shoved him out of the way of the intruding car) but his hip was rather tweaked. My car, though, was gone. I cried like a baby when they towed it away. I ruminated for months trying to decide how to replace it. Luckily, we had my 1998 SAAB 9000 as a spare car to use. I decided early on that there would be no new car considered. I loathe touch screens. I'm also not a fan of climate control. Months went by. I decided to keep looking for another B5 Passat. As the author wrote, the B5.5 just looked 'over done'. October this past year I found my Cinderella slipper - an early 2001. Same silver color. Same black leather interior. Same 1.8T engine. Same 5 speed manual transmission. I was happier than a pig in sh!t. But a little sad also. I had replaced my baby. But life goes on. I drive it every day to work which takes me over some rather twisty freeway ramps. I love the light snarel as I charge up some steep hills on my way home. So, I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Passat guy.
  • Paul Mezhir As awful as the styling was on these cars, they were beautifully assembled and extremely well finished for the day. The doors closed solidly, the ride was extremely quiet and the absence of squeaks and rattles was commendable. As for styling? Everything's beautiful in it's own way.....except for the VI's proportions were just odd: the passenger compartment and wheelbase seemed to be way too short, especially compared to the VI sedan. Even the short-lived Town Coupe had much better proportions. None of the fox-body Lincolns could compare to the beautiful proportions of the Mark was the epitome of long, low, sleek and elegant. The proportions were just about perfect from every angle.