Chinese double cab pick-up heading for UK
International Motors Group, UK importers for Isuzu and Subaru — and Daihatsu before it withdrew from Europe — is to sell Chinese manufacturer Great Wall Motors product in the UK. The first model up for grabs will be its Wingle double cab 4x4 pick-up. No sniggering in the gallery.
Already on sale in Australia, Romania and Italy it’s likely to bear the same name as is does in the latter two, the Steed, when it goes on sale after the summer.
Power will come from an all-new 2.0-litre Euro 5 four-cylinder turbodiesel developed in-house and featuring the latest generation Bosch common rail fuel-injection system. Capable of producing 150hp, it develops peak torque of 310Nm. The selectable four-wheel drive system is driven via a manual five-speed gearbox.
With regard to a dealer network, Paul Hegarty, Great Wall Motors UK managing director said: “There were 90 Daihatsu dealers and 150 others have been in touch to express interest in representing the brand already. We’re not going to put an exact figure on the number of open points, but if there’s 50 retailers who are on the same page as us when it comes to customer service, then we’ll have 50.
“Great Wall is a value brand,” he continued. “They don’t perceive themselves as a cheap brand. Their aim is to be the Chinese equivalent to Toyota. The quality is much higher than people expect.”
Steed will be joining the pick-up fray at a particularly busy time. Volkswagen is launching Amarok at the CV Show in April, Ford will have its all-new Ranger on sale by November — and Mazda is expected to re-enter the marketplace with its version, the BT-50 — while Isuzu plans to introduce its next generation Rodeo early in 2012.