Chinese are here as Great Wall hits UK market
Initially 40 dealers are offering just one model, a pick-up called the Steed priced from £13,998.
Great Wall is China’s largest producer of SUVs, with assets of £2.7 billion. It is being brought into the UK by IM Group with several of the dealers former Daihatsu outlets.
The brand claims that the Steed, which will be on display at the Commercial Vehicle Show at Birmingham’s NEC next week, will be the most affordable pick-up on the UK market – to buy and to run.
It uses a newly-developed 2.0-litre, 16-valve turbocharged diesel powerplant with 34.0mpg combined cycle fuel economy, and boasts the lowest insurance ratings (from 7A) of any vehicle in the pick-up segment.
The Steed is a chunky-looking four-door double cab with a high ground clearance, and a 1,050kg maximum payload in a load bay measuring 1,380 by 1,460mm.
It’s said to be durable, built around a ladder-framed chassis with reinforced central cross-members, an impact-absorbing rear beam and a reinforced cargo bed.
It’s also versatile, with a low-range gearbox, and on-demand four-wheel-drive.
The entry-level Steed S gets 16-inch alloy wheels, daytime running lights, remote central locking, a Thatcham-approved Category 1 alarm, electric front and rear windows, an Alpine CD/radio with USB/MP3 and Bluetooth connectivity, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, air-conditioning, heated fronted seats and a full leather interior.
The range-topping Steed SE, from £15,998, adds a body-coloured hard-top canopy, body-coloured spoiler, chrome trim to the daytime running lights, chrome side bars, black roof rails, load bay liner, and rear parking sensors.
Great Wall hopes to attract customers into showrooms with its ‘Great Wall Promise’. This will include inflation-proof servicing plans, service pick-up and drop-off, and the option of arranging a test drive at a location of the customer’s choice if they live or work within 20 miles of their nearest Great Wall dealership.
Great Wall UK Managing Director Paul Hegarty believes that the Steed will attract much interest in the UK; “thanks to its unbeatable value and the unique Great Wall customer service promise being offered by our new network of dealers.
“Our pick-up boasts a high level of practicality, reliability and durability, as well as low running costs. It will represent a superb ownership proposition and will give Great Wall a flying start in the UK.”
Words by: Andrew Charman