Manufacturing News

Great Wall sales advance behind pickups, new crossovers

Sales at Great Wall Motor Co., China's largest light truck maker, gained speed in April, rising 12 percent year on year to 81,797.

The growth was led by the company’s pickups and Wey-brand crossovers.

April deliveries of pickups, which Great Wall markets under the Wingle brand, jumped 32 percent from a year earlier to 12,962.

Sales of the VV5 and VV7 compact crossovers, the first two products introduced last year under the company’s premium Wey brand, totaled 13,139 in the month.

But sales of Great Wall’s Haval-badged crossovers and SUVs remained weak, falling 11 percent to 55,055 in April.

Great Wall stopped developing new sedans several years ago. Last month, deliveries of its only sedan model, the Great Wall-badged C30 compact car, slumped 48 percent to 641 vehicles.

For the first four months, Great Wall sales increased 3.4 percent from the year-earlier period to 338,420.

At the Beijing auto show in April, the company introduced a third product under the Wey brand, the VV6. The compact crossover is slated to go on sale in the third quarter.

Earlier last month Great Wall also launched sales of the Wey P8 plug-in hybrid SUV with a starting price of 292,800 yuan ($45,965). The vehicle qualifies for 33,000 yuan in government subsidies this year.

The Wey P8 is Great Wall’s second electrified vehicle, following the electric vehicle version of the Great Wall C30.

While rolling out new products, the company has also started expanding production capacity. Last month, it began constructing a vehicle assembly plant in the southwest China municipality of Chongqing.

The 4.5 billion yuan ($718 million) factory will start production toward the end of 2019. It will produce Wingle pickups and Haval crossovers and SUVs, with annual capacity of 160,000 vehicles.

Great Wall operates three assembly plants, all of which are in northern China cities -- Baoding and Xushui in Hebei province and the port city of Tianjin. The three factories can produce up to 1.05 million vehicles a year at full capacity.

In February, Great Wall signed a letter of intent with BMW AG to establish a joint venture in China to produce Mini electric vehicles.

Great Wall, based in Baoding, is listed in Shanghai and Hong Kong.

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