Great Wall Motor has been busy with patent and trademark filings in Australia, filing for the designs of various vehicles across the GWM, Ora and Tank brands.
That’s in addition to filing 16 patents for the Tank name and logo, used on a growing range of rugged SUVs, plus an additional two filings for its Ora electric vehicle brand.
The design filings include the GWM X Cannon pickup, a previously revealed ute that’s larger than the brand’s current Ute Cannon, as well as two Tank models: the large Tank 700 SUV and the 300 Cybertank.
Both of these models were previewed as concepts, though the 700 isn’t expected to receive many changes in the transition to production.
GWM also has three pending design filings which aren’t viewable to the public, while the Tank 300 – expected to come Down Under – has previously been registered with IP Australia.
These vehicles’ appearance on the IP Australia database doesn’t guarantee Great Wall Motors will bring them here as, if you trawl through the database, you’ll find a number of patented designs over the years that weren’t introduced locally.
For Great Wall alone, this includes the Voleex C10 hatchback and Coolbear wagon (2007), the Haval H1 light SUV (2014), a previous generation of Haval H6, and various sedans from before the Great Wall brand’s decision to focus only on pickups and SUVs.
Since its arrival locally over a decade ago (under an independent distributor rather than a factory operation as it has today), Great Wall Motor has been known to announce new models and then scrap plans to launch them.
One example is the Haval H7, a three-row crossover that was even introduced to Australian journalists and certified for local sale before the company scuttled it.
However, the company doesn’t just blanket file all its models with IP Australia.
GWM’s growing sales success in recent years has also led to a planned expansion of its model line-up.
The company has also said it’s weighing introducing the Haval Big Dog crossover and body-on-frame Tank 300 here, even going so far as to bring left-hand drive examples here for promotional and testing purposes.
GWM Australia says it has run focus groups through both cars, and presented the business case to get both vehicles here. We’d be surprised if they weren’t launched here.
The company says Ora is also on the company’s road map for Australia as electric vehicle sales grow. That leaves only the Wey brand, which specialises in more premium crossovers, off the table for Australia.
Great Wall Motor has developed a new body-on-frame platform and a new turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine, both of which feature in the recently revealed Tank 600, the Tank 700 and 800 concepts, and the GWM X Cannon.
This engine produces 260kW of power and 500Nm of torque and is mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission designed in-house.
A hybrid version was also announced for the GWM, combining the V6 petrol engine with an electric motor making 125kW and 425Nm for a peak combined torque figure of 750Nm.
The Tank 300 is smaller than all these vehicles and is smaller than the likes of the Toyota LandCruiser Prado but still uses a body-on-frame architecture.
It’s powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine producing 167kW of power and 387Nm of torque.
The engine is mated to a ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission, with the Tank 300 boasting a 0-100km/h time of 9.5 seconds. There’s also low-range gearing and electromechanical locking front and rear differentials.
A concept version called the Cybertank was revealed at the 2021 Shanghai motor show, wearing a brash body kit, matte paint, and blingy 21-inch alloy wheels.
Given its current dealer order rate and forward estimates, Great Wall Motor says it’s targeting 18,000 sales in Australia this calendar year – 240 per cent up from its 5244 sales last year, which in turn was up from just 3108 sales in 2019.
It’s almost certain to hit that, given it has sold 14,892 vehicles to the end of October 2021.
It has also expanded its dealer network from 40 during 2020 to around 85 now, with more expected.
GWM’s Australian national sales company is seen as a key part of its global plans: as a lucrative sales and profit opportunity for one, but also as a precursor (test) market for further global expansion.
Founder and Chairman Jack Wey, who owns 54 per cent of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange-listed company, wants a global footprint.
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