It's official: Great Wall Motors (GWM) is coming back to the Philippines. This was confirmed when Luxuriant Automotive Group Inc (LAGI) formalized the partnership after signing a distributorship agreement last month.
Under the new distributor, we can expect a wide array of crossovers, SUVs, and maybe even electrified vehicles in the country very soon. In fact, both GWM and LAGI announced that they will be making more announcements in the coming weeks regarding the first dealer location and initial vehicle lineup.
Since GWM has yet to reveal what cars they will be launching here in the country, we cannot help but make a wish list of possible models the automaker might bring to the Philippine market. And with Great Wall Motors having plenty of brands under its belt, there are a number of possibilities.
First revealed last year, the Tank 500 serves as the brand's answer to the Toyota Land Cruiser and Nissan Patrol. Not only does it look the part of a flagship SUV, but it also has plenty of creature comforts and amenities one would find in an SUV of this class and size.
From a full leather interior, massive touchscreens and digital displays, high-quality metal switchgear, and generous use of wood trim, the Tank 500 could attract those who want a fully decked-out luxury SUV for less.
Powering the Tank 500 is a 3.0-liter twin-turbo gasoline V6 that benefits from a mild-hybrid system. It generates 354 PS plus 500 Nm of torque and is available with a 4WD system, locking differentials, and a low-range transfer box. Great Wall claims the Tank 500 can go from 0 – 100 km/h in only 7.3 seconds which is impressive given its huge size. Last but not least, the engine is paired with a 9-speed automatic gearbox.
What do you get when you combine a Ford Bronco and a Jeep Renegade? For Great Wall, it's the Tank 300. Unlike its bigger sibling which is geared toward luxury, the Tank 300 is aimed toward drivers who like to bring their vehicles off the beaten path.
The body-on-frame SUV not only gets a tough-looking exterior, but it also comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged gas engine that puts out 227 PS and 387 Nm of torque. It's mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission while the 4WD system has several drive modes like 2H, 4H, and 4L.
Despite being a 4x4 vehicle, the Tank 300 still comes with luxuries like a touchscreen infotainment system, a full-leather interior, a digital instrument cluster, as well as a power sunroof. When it comes to off-road equipment, the Tank 300 can come with a snorkel, bull bars, a power winch, raised suspension, and bespoke bumpers.
With crossovers continuing to be the popular choice among car buyers, we won't be surprised if Great Wall Motors brings the Haval brand to the country. Should this happen, the Haval H6 will likely be one of the vehicles the automaker will launch.
This compact crossover is available with a wide array of turbocharged engines that include a 1.5-liter and a 2.0-liter. But in order to be eligible for tax breaks, the PH-spec H6 might only be available with the smaller 1.5-liter turbocharged engine in order to meet the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA). The powertrain can then be complemented by an electric motor powered by a 1.8-kWh lithium-ion battery pack.
Since it measures 4653mm long, 1886mm wide, and 1730mm tall, the Haval H6 could take on the likes of the Geely Azkarra, MG HS, and the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro. With the possibility that it may be available as an electrified vehicle, it may attract customers who want a compact crossover that's easy on the fuel bills.
Aside from the H6, Great Wall could also bring the Haval Jolion for its initial lineup. It's a segment smaller than the H6 as it measures 4472mm long, 1841mm wide, and 1619mm tall. This means it can take on the likes of the Toyota Corolla Cross, Ford Territory, MG ZS T, Honda HR-V, and the Geely Coolray.
Much like its bigger brother, the Jolion has a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine that is helped along by a 1.6-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that powers an electric motor. Power can then be sent to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission that drives the front wheels.
With B-segment crossovers becoming increasingly popular, the Haval Jolion could become one of the brand's biggest cash cows if ever Great Wall Motors decide to bring it here. But until GWM makes it official, we'll wait until the official word is out.
Ora Good Cat
While this vehicle might have a funny moniker, Great Wall's Ora sub-brand specializes in making electric vehicles (EVs). And one of their most popular models today is the Good Cat.
Blending cute design with retro-inspired aesthetics, this unique-looking EV not only looks good but can travel 500 km on a single charge as claimed by Ora. In addition, the electric powertrain makes 145 PS and 210 Nm of torque which is more than enough to propel this cute and tiny EV.
Providing the EV some extra security while on the road comes courtesy of a wide range of intelligent driver aids like automatic emergency braking and blind-spot assist. There's even a system that warns occupants if they are about to be rear-ended.
EVs may still be considered a niche vehicle in today's market. But given enough time (and upgrading of the local infrastructure), cars like the Ora Good Cat might become a regular sighting in Metro Manila.
We're still waiting on GWM to know which models they will actually launch in the country. But given the choices at their disposal, there are countless possibilities depending on their strategy.
Which cars do you think Great Wall Motors will bring to the Philippines first? Share your comments below.