Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Sorry, there are no cars that match your search

Haval H2 leading the way for emerging Chinese brand, but GWM Ute could be key to mainstream Australian success

The Haval H2 is one of the cheapest small SUVs available in Australia, kicking off at $22,990 drive-away.

We’ve written recently of the sudden rise of MG, but it’s not all easy for new Chinese brands in Australia.

Haval is taking a slower path with its range of SUVs but will be hoping its new Toyota RAV4 rival will expand its appeal under the newly-minted GWM Haval banner that also encompasses the the new Ute.

Haval was one of the few brands that enjoyed significant growth in the pandemic-hit 2020. Sales for Haval were up more than 93 per cent last year as buyers showed more interest in the smaller – and much more affordable – H2.

The Mitsubishi ASX rival is the brand’s key model, notching more than 60 per cent of its total sales in 2020. Even so, that was just 1988 sales, which made it a minnow in a segment led by the ASX which sold more than 14,000 examples.

And it has started off 2021 in a similar fashion.

Haval has sold 257 H2s in the first month of the year. That’s a stark contrast to the MG ZS that shifted 1253 units in January to finish just 25 sales behind the ASX in a major boost for the Chinese brand.

Price is no doubt playing a key role here for the H2, as pandemic-related complications make budget-friendly new cars more appealing.

The H2 currently starts at $22,990 drive-away, much cheaper than other models in the same segment – such as the Mazda CX-30, Hyundai Kona and Nissan Qashqai – that all start north of $25,000.

Haval will also be hoping the new H6, which will arrive by the middle of the year to compete against the MG HS in the mid-size SUV market, will prove more popular than the outgoing model.

So far this year (while in runout), the H6 is off to a good start, doubling its January 2020 sales compared with the same month last year.

The brand’s third model, the H9 is also enjoying growth in 2021, finding 33 new homes in January (+32.0%).

Haval now sits underneath the GWM Haval banner in Australia, as the previously-named Great Wall Motors looks to change its image Down Under. It has added a new Toyota HiLux rival, simply known as the GWM Ute, to offer a more polished dual-cab compared to its existing utilitarian Steed.

Haval has been in Australia since 2016, where it was set-up as a factory-backed operation and took control of Great Wall Motors from original importer, Ateco, in the same year.

Chinese sales have been on the rise in Australia with Haval, GWM, MG and LDV all enjoying strong performances in recent years. In 2020 sales of cars from China were up more than 70 per cent, making it the sixth biggest importer of vehicles to Australia.

With Haval serving up SUVs and GWM offering a ute, could the combined might of GWM Haval become a brand that bigger players should be worried about?