Great Wall History

Great Wall Motor Company is a publicly-traded Chinese auto manufacturer established in 1976. It initially produced only commercial trucks, and only entered the European market in 2006. The first sedan only rolled of the assembly line in 2008, so it’s safe to call Great Wall a very recent entrant into motor manufacture. However, like the rest of Chinese industry, it has grown phenomenally and the company now exports to over 80 countries around the world, mainly other developing nations.

The company chairman is Wen Jianjun, and the corporate headquarters is in Baoding in Hebei Province. A new production plant, slated to become operational sometime in 2011, will have capacity for about 50,000 vehicles annually. Great Wall is also in partnership with firms in 6 countries which produce their vehicles from completely knocked down (CKD) kits.

Like other Chinese manufacturers, the company still has to work hard to be taken seriously in the all-important Western market. This is chiefly because of Chinese products’ general reputation for unreliability, a tag which is sometimes unfairly pasted to any China-manufactured product. Also, several Chinese cars bear suspiciously similar looks to those from other carmakers, so much so that quite a few Japanese, European and American firms have sued or are considering suing Chinese manufacturers because of this. For example the Great Wall Peri was banned in Italy because of its close similarity to the Fiat Panda, and Nissan is considering legal action owing to the Great Wall Sing’s uncomfortable resemblance to the Nissan Paladin. In their favour, companies like Great Wall are able to offer amazingly low prices for their vehicles, mainly due to the low cost of labour in China compared to first-world corporates, but also due to Chinese government subsidies.

Great Wall Models

Great Wall offers the following vehicles in New Zealand- first up the SA220, a double-cabin pickup truck only available with a 2.2-litre engine and 5-speed manual gearbox; the V240, also a dual-cab, but with higher ground clearance, larger payload and an odd-looking front end; and lastly the X240, a midsize SUV with a 2.4-litre engine.

Looking at buying a Great Wall? Check the vehicle history of any Great Wall by entering its number plate in the field above