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Carving out success in our ute market isn't easy, but the rewards can be massive, with more than 200,000 dual-cabs sold here in 2019 alone. Yes, the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger take up the lion's share of those sales (with the Nissan Navara and Mitsubishi Triton staking a fair claim, too), but they won't have the market to themselves this year.

In fact, there are several challengers preparing to mount their most significant assault on the Aussie market to date.

Yes, 2020 is shaping up as the year of the Chinese ute, with a host of cut-price options arriving in Australia to take the fight to the market's established players.

Great Wall Cannon: July - September 2020

Great Wall has its sights sets on the big players of the Australian industry, such as the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux.
Great Wall has its sights sets on the big players of the Australian industry, such as the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux.

There's been plenty of hype around the Great Wall Cannon, and with Chinese brand's first solid crack at a truly global ute now scheduled to arrive in Australia as early as July, we're on the edge of our seats to get behind the wheel. 

For now, though, there's lots we know about Great Wall's Cannon. The ute will arrive with a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine, which is expected to produce around 120kW and 450Nm - making it's Australian application the most powerful version on the planet.

That engine will be matched with an eight-speed ZF automatic or a six-speed manual, and Great Wall has its sights sets on the big players of the Australian industry, telling CarsGuide its new workhorse has been benchmarked against the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux, and would undergo specific testing for Australian conditions. 

They're also planning on undercutting the big players, too, telling CarsGuide: "It will make a lot of people think 'why am I paying this amount of money for a ute when someone like Great Wall can build something to this level of comfort and capability?'".

Read More: Great Wall Cannon specification detailed! Here's how the Chinese ute stacks up against the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger

LDV T60 new twin-turbo engine: July - September 2020

We don't know exactly when the V6 T60 will arrive, but we understand you should begin looking for it in the second half of 2020.
We don't know exactly when the V6 T60 will arrive, but we understand you should begin looking for it in the second half of 2020.

LDV is on something of a run in Australia at the moment, with the Chinese brand defying our falling new-car market to increase its sales by 6.9 per cent in 2019. 

And it's not done yet, with its most popular model, the T60 ute, set for a significant power boost this year. 

We understand the brand will use a new twin-turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine, which is apparently good for up to 160kW and 480Nm, though LDV is yet to confirm timing or power outputs. 

Combine that donk with locally tuned suspension (the entire LDV range gets the same homegrown uspension tune as the flagship Trailrider) and the brand could be onto something big.

We don't know exactly when the new enginewill arrive, but we understand you should begin looking for it in the second half of 2020. And in more exciting news, rumours of an even more powerful diesel V6 engine are doing the rounds, though the brand is yet to officially comment on it. So watch this space.

 Read More: LDV T60 2020 to get V6 power!

MG Extender - TBA

MG is fast developing a following in Australia, where it shifted a massive 8326 cars last year.
MG is fast developing a following in Australia, where it shifted a massive 8326 cars last year.

A potential star for the Chinese brand, given MG's ongoing success in Australia, the Extender is essentially rebadged version of the LDV.

The difference? MG is fast developing a following in Australia, where it shifted a massive 8326 cars last year, up a staggering 177 per cent on the previous year.

The Extender is powered by a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine good for around 120kW and 375Nm, which is channeled through a six-speed manual or automatic, with that power shuffled to the rear or all four wheels.

So, will we get it? We'll have to wait and see. But the MG Extender has shifted from a outright no when first revealed in Thailand, to a wait and see, so the grounds are shifting in its favour. 

“There’s potential for every vehicle. And we are a growing brand, and we want to continue to grow. Product is definitely the biggest thing," MG Australia’s product planning manager, Akshat Ahuja, told CarsGuide.

“We keep evaluating whatever we can, and if we can, then one day, who knows?”.

Read More: MG's rival to the Toyota HiLux could come to Australia after all
Andrew Chesterton
Contributing Journalist
Andrew Chesterton should probably hate cars. From his hail-damaged Camira that looked like it had spent a hard life parked at the end of Tiger Woods' personal driving range, to the Nissan Pulsar Reebok that shook like it was possessed by a particularly mean-spirited demon every time he dared push past 40km/h, his personal car history isn't exactly littered with gold. But that seemingly endless procession of rust-savaged hate machines taught him something even more important; that cars are more than a collection of nuts, bolts and petrol. They're your ticket to freedom, a way to unlock incredible experiences, rolling invitations to incredible adventures. They have soul. And so, somehow, the car bug still bit. And it bit hard. When "Chesto" started his journalism career with News Ltd's Sunday and Daily Telegraph newspapers, he covered just about everything, from business to real estate, courts to crime, before settling into state political reporting at NSW Parliament House. But the automotive world's siren song soon sounded again, and he begged anyone who would listen for the opportunity to write about cars. Eventually they listened, and his career since has seen him filing car news, reviews and features for TopGear, Wheels, Motor and, of course, CarsGuide, as well as many, many others. More than a decade later, and the car bug is yet to relinquish its toothy grip. And if you ask Chesto, he thinks it never will.
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