Chinese car manufacturer Great Wall has announced plans to sell its cars in the UK next year. But will its cars steer their way into British buyers’ hearts and minds?
These represent the first serious attempt at car sales for Chinese brands for some time (the tiny-selling MG TF doesn’t really count).
Previous scare stories
Chinese brands have been making noises about UK imports for a while now, but they’ve been scared off by previous European sagas – like the LandWind and Brilliance crash test disasters (both of which halted imports).
Personally, I’m surprised it’s taken Chinese brands so long to import. Apparently, part of the reason for the delay is that China’s factories are working flat-out to satisfy local demand – which, in the world’s biggest populace, is potentially enormous.
But will these cars suit the tastes of British car buyers?
Back to the future
There’s an interesting parallel to draw with Japan’s cars, which were considered cheap and nasty in the early Seventies. Now, no one is laughing. Honda, Nissan and Toyota even build their cars here in the UK. And Japanese brands consistently perform well in the Which? Car survey.
I think it’s only a matter of time before we embrace China’s cars, with brands like Changfeng, Great Wall and Roewe soon being commonplace on our roads.