GWM’s Haval brand may soon have a new flagship seven-seater SUV if the Australian arm decides to bring in the H9, which is currently under serious consideration for our market.

    With company executives having spent this week in China for the Beijing motor show, CarExpert understands the case for the H9 has improved significantly with GWM looking to fit the product below the recently launched Tank 500.

    GWM Australia’s head of marketing and communications, Steve Maciver, told CarExpert the business case for the H9 is under study.

    “We’ve had an opportunity to look at H9 more closely and to drive the car. Suffice to say, the feedback is very, very positive and we’re now looking at options to see whether H9 could be another seven-seat addition to the [GWM] range,” he said.

    If the Haval H9 does make it to our market, it would need to sit below the recently launched Tank 500 (from $66,490 to $73,990 drive-away) in terms of pricing and capability.

    This lower price point could be achieved as, unlike the Tank 500, the H9 lacks some of the more off-road-focused capabilities some GWM Haval buyers may not necessarily need.

    “We’ve got to think carefully about positioning and pricing, but if we’re able to get those things right, H9 is a possibility,” Mr Maciver said.

    “As such there may be a possibility we could bring it at a lower price, which sits well with our Haval SUV strategy, whereby it is capable of off-road – but it’s certainly not as capable of off-road as the professional Tank series, which is our premium off-road series.”

    The Haval H9 is currently offered in China with turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol and a 2.4-litre diesel engines. It would be highly unlikely given the New Vehicle Efficiency Standard (NVES) coming to Australia that the diesel would be under serious consideration – there is currently no hybrid variant of the H9.

    Based on previous cases, once GWM Australia decides to bring the H9 it can be ready in right-hand drive and arrive locally within the next 12 months.

    MORE: Everything GWM

    Alborz Fallah

    Alborz is the founder of CarAdvice (sold to Nine and now Drive) and co-founder of CarExpert. He is an honourary adjunct professor & entrepreneur in residence at the University of QLD. He loves naturally-aspirated V8s, V10s and V12s and is in denial about the impending death of the internal combustion engine.

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