Great Wall utes set for Australian comeback

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28 May 2016 by Joshua Dowling · CarsGuide

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Australia’s cheapest ute: Great Wall Motors announces new model. But how many dealers will sign on after they were left without cars to sell for two years?

Australia's cheapest ute -- China’s Great Wall Motors -- is set to make a comeback after vanishing from local showrooms for two years.

Great Wall utes will return with a new look and the promise of extra safety equipment later this year after earlier models were slammed for poor crash test results and had to be recalled because they contained asbestos parts.

Sales trickled to a halt over the past two years following a dispute between Great Wall Motors in China and the Australian distributor who introduced the brand locally in 2009.

Now the matter has been settled, 37,000 owners of Great Wall utes across Australia will be able to continue to access parts and service.

However, it is unclear how many of the original dealers will continue to represent the brand after Great Wall Motors suddenly stopped supplying vehicles to Australia two years ago.

A statement from Great Wall Motors’ luxury division Haval said the return of the updated ute range “signals the beginning of an exciting new era”.

Prices are yet to be announced but Great Wall Motors previously made a big impact on the ute market with sharp RRPs starting below $20,000.

After an initial peak, however, sales tanked in the wake of poor safety ratings and a recall for asbestos.

The new ute range will have a choice of petrol and diesel power and a “high level of standard equipment”, but will be available with manual transmission only.

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