China looking for a factory


The Chinese automaker Great Wall Motors was present at the Bangkok International Motor Show last month, but had no intention of selling any vehicles, in fact there are none in Thailand.  Company representative Mr. Wang stated their presence at the show was “mainly to inform Thai people about our plan to commercialize the car in Thai domestic market and build up a manufacturing plant in Thailand.”

Whilst their Haval SUV range has been the top seller in China for the past 10 years and is already exported to Russia, Australia (where it is the top selling Chinese brand), South Africa, Chile and Italy, the focus is now on SE Asia, and Great Wall has earmarked 10 billion baht to build a plant in Thailand, which should be able to produce vehicles by 2015.  It is expected that this plant will be in one of the existing industrial estates in Rayong and one of the Hemaraj estates with the high level of auto industry suppliers would be a good bet.

The numbers being quoted for this yet to be built facility are 100,000 vehicles per year, in RHD form.  This figure includes Thailand, ASEAN and Australia.

The Haval 6 comes fully loaded, including GPS with voice actuation, 4WD, brake assist, tyre pressure monitoring, reversing camera, touch screen entertainment, electronic stability and the full suite of acronyms.  Being Chinese it should also be keenly priced.

I was most impressed with the quality of the finished product (although LHD at the Motor Show).