By on September 13, 2010

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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7 Comments on “Never Say Die: Great Wall Wants To Export To Europe, U.S....”

  • avatar

    An interesting amount of displacement of both the dashboard and the steering wheel in that 2007 crash video.

  • avatar

    Are DongFeng exports DongFeng or Peugoet/Citroen cars?

  • avatar

    Great Wall are a serious manufacturer… did a cursory inspection of their showroom and the materials and build of their products are all more than acceptable for Western markets… though the designs themselves and the engineering (the Hover crossover’s hood is about as heavy as the entire front end of my car) leave much to be desired.

    • 0 avatar

      build of their products are all more than acceptable for Western markets
      Aside from that whole “steering wheel attacks you and cracks your head open like a watermelon” thing, sure.

    • 0 avatar

      The Hover, unofficially, is a four-star car via EuroNCAP standards. The really cruddy perfroming ones were the pick-up/ute cars… which are really built for Asian tastes and consumption. The best-performing Asian-spec compact pick-up on the market (the current Mitsubishi Trito) only gets three stars (as opposed to the GW’s two-stars) on EuroNCAP.
      Granted, four stars for a midsized crossover isn’t quite as good as the big boys (who all get the full five), but it’s not terrible.

  • avatar

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

  • avatar

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

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