Johannesburg - GWM is in the process of reinventing itself in South Africa and following the recent takeover of the local operation by its Chinese parent company, the local subsidiary is preparing to launch its new Haval brand in South Africa, while also rebranding itself as Haval Motor South Africa.
But that doesn’t mean the GWM brand disappears – Haval promises to relaunch its H5 and H6 SUVs while also refreshing its Steed bakkie line-up, but it seems that most of the excitement will be on the Haval front.
So what’s the deal with Haval?
For starters, it is China’s best selling SUV brand and its name rhymes with ‘gravel’, by the way.
Haval is also positioned as the premium division of GWM, although that is quite relative. It’s not like it’s going to try chase down Lexus or Audi. In fact Haval promises that its first new entrant, the H2, will most certainly undercut the competition in pricing terms.
On that note, the H2 is an all-new compact crossover that’s slightly smaller than a Nissan Qashqai and powered by a 1.5-litre turbopetrol engine that produces 105kW and 202Nm.
Haval will announce pricing when it launches the product in the coming weeks.
Another vehicle set for local introduction is the Haval H1, which appears to be a rebranded and mildly facelifted version of the M4 crossover that was previously sold as a GWM.
A vehicle called the H9 is also listed on the local website, this being a large body-on-frame SUV featuring four-wheel drive with low range and a 160kW 2-litre turbopetrol engine. It looks like it could compete with Toyota’s Fortuner, although with no mention of a diesel engine, its appeal is likely to be somewhat limited.
Haval SA says that its GWM Steed double cabs, H5 and H6 SUVs, along with all Haval products, will be sold with a five-year/100 000km warranty, with five years of roadside assistance.
We’ll bring you more information on the local line-up and pricing as it becomes available.