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Great Wall Australian comeback confirmed

The new Great Wall Steed dual-cab ute.
Joshua Dowling
CarsGuide

17 Jun 2016 • 2 min read

After recently announcing that it was looking to revive its business in Australia, China's Great Wall has confirmed its new dual-cab ute will be called the Steed.

But questions remain about how many dealers will be willing to climb back on the horse after the brand suddenly stopped supplying vehicles to Australia almost two years ago.

Great Wall utes, at one time the cheapest available in Australia, will return with a new look and the promise of extra safety equipment early in the fourth quarter of this year.

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 Australian distributor Ateco, which brought the brand here 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.

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.

But the company will need to do some serious bridge-building with dealers, who had invested in the Great Wall brand only to be left with nothing to sell.

A statement from Great Wall Motors passenger car division Haval says 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 the asbestos recall.

The new ute range will have a choice of petrol and diesel power and a "high level of standard equipment" — but with manual transmission only.

At least the Steed name should prove more palatable to Australian consumers than the Chinese alternative.

"In its home country, the Great Wall ute is called Wingle, which translates to horse. That's why it has been called the Steed in the United Kingdom and why we have chosen that name," says local managing director Parker Shi.

Great Wall will assume control of its Australian operations on July 1.

Would you give the Steed a try? Tell us why, or why not, in the comments below.