This means a major headache is coming for the established players.
At the Shanghai auto show, Chinese carmaker Great Wall has clarified that their new ute, the hitherto-unnamed ‘Pickup,’ will be a value-busting machine that’ll be a proper problem for a lot of the established players in the small-ute segment. The Passenger version of the Pickup (there’s also a more aggressive ‘Off-Road’ model) will contend head-on with the poshest versions of the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger, but it’ll be priced to match the sole Korean option.
“As always, [Haval Australia] will supply very good value to the market. You see the pickup today, which has a lot of technology and performance, but in terms of price, will be very sharp.” – Koma Li, Managing Director, Haval Australia
If we base our assumptions on the car seen in Shanghai, the Passenger Pickup should be a very interesting proposition. AEB comes as standard, as does lane-departure warning, 360º camera, leather seats, and an infotainment system that doesn’t look like an afterthought. All-wheel drive, diesel, automatic, for perhaps less than $40k. Who’d say no?
And that’s before you consider that it’s as long as a Ford Ranger, wider than a Volkswagen Amarok, and taller than all but the Ranger Raptor. Towing & payload ratings haven’t yet been given, but we expect them to be decent, given that this is a proper ladder-frame ute with proper tradie-spec variants that will come later.
Also coming are the petrol, hydrogen fuel-cell, hybrid, and electric variants, which Haval has clarified are more for brand building rather than to serve strong demand. The Great Wall Pickup should have its work cut out for it even with the price advantage, as LDV’s promising a new T60 ute that’s more posh and usable than previous iterations too.