Chinese brand GWM Haval wants 80 per cent of its global sales to be plug-in hybrid or pure-electric by 2025, and to stop offering internal-combustion drivetrains entirely by 2030.
The Baoding-based brand held a ‘new energy strategy conference’ in Beijing this week outlining its plans, which will have implications for its rapidly-growing Australian operation.
The company has been falling behind the likes of BYD in the so-called ‘new energy’ market at home, and is therefore changing tack.
At the same time as its 2030 announcement the company revealed the latest domestic versions of its top-selling H6 Hybrid (already sold in Australia but supply-restricted) and H6 PHEV (not sold here yet, but offering a claimed and probably optimistic 110km of pure electric range).
It also revealed what appears to be a new brand logo.
GWM Haval Australia, a full factory subsidiary, will expand its regular hybrid range this September with the smaller Jolion Hybrid, though has no current plans for an electrified version of the H6 GT ‘coupe’ crossover.
But given the announcement out of China we would expect 2023 and 2024 to yield up some GWM Haval products that go beyond mild hybridisation. We already know that another GWM member brand, Ora, will launch an electric hatchback here in 2023.
As reported here, GWM Australia is on track for 20,000 sales this year, its record, though still a fair way off Aussie market’s top Chinese player, SAIC Motor’s MG brand – which is itself rolling out PHEVs and EVs at a rate of knots here.
The company’s move to prioritise NEVs comes amid the rapid proliferation of PHEVs and BEVs – dubbed New Energy Vehicles (NEVs) – across China.
According to the International Council on Clean Transportation, NEVs have accounted for 24 per cent of passenger car registrations in China this year. Further statistics from the China Passenger Car Association show 564,000 NEV sales in July, up 123.7 per cent year-on-year.
For a little context, this suggests around six million EVs and PHEVs will be registered in China this year.
That market’s NEV sales leader, BYD, has already ended sales of its purely combustion-powered vehicles earlier this year, and now offers only plug-in hybrid and battery-electric vehicles – including Australia where it has massive expansion plans.
The GWM Haval announcement comes as the mighty Haval H6, which for several years has been China’s best-selling SUV, is reportedly now being outsold by the Song from fellow Chinese brand BYD, as well as the Tesla Model Y.