International Motors Group who are the UK importer and distributor for Subaru, Isuzu and Daihatsu has found another little gem to offer UK buyers after signing an agreement with Chinese auto maker ‘Great Wall Motor Company’ and will be importing cars into Europe from 2010 onwards.
To begin with, the countries targeted will be the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and it won’t be our turn until 2011, when along with Scandinavia and Ireland, we get our chance to be the only ones on our block to drive a car that no one’s ever heard of.
I don’t want to appear hard on this, but one thing we are not short of in the UK, is different makes of car, however everyone has to start somewhere.
All we know about ‘The Great Wall Motor Company’ is that its one of China’s few privately owned car companies and that they have designed and built all-new models, designed specifically for the European market, which includes meeting EU approval standards of crash-worthiness equivalent to other modern European and Japanese vehicles.
Currently, Great Wall Motor Company Limited sells products into more than 120 countries ‘and’ regions, what ever that means. The company is China’s first privately-owned automobile enterprise to be listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange; and has more than 30 subsidiaries and over 22,000 members of staff. At present, it has the capacity to build 800,000 vehicles per annum.
It’s stated that the Great Wall Motor has achieved rapid growth and remarkable profits for 10 consecutive years. The company was listed among the Forbes Top 100 Chinese Enterprises both in 2007 and 2008. In June 2008, it ranked as one of the 500 Most Valuable Brands in China. In April 2006, it was listed as one of the Recommended Export Brands by China Electromechanical Products Import and Export Chamber.
I.M. Group who has operated in the Chinese market for over 15 years, currently employs a team of 40 at its Beijing office and have said that they will announce full details about the launch of ‘The Great Wall’ brand next year.
So there you have it, another new car for us all to consider and another car that’s going to have to be shipped half way round the world to get to us, after being made in a country that clearly indicated at the Copenhagen summit on global warming, that it has no intention of reducing its emissions in the foreseeable future, so that all kind of makes sense?
We don’t wish to seem grumpy about this, but the car market in Europe and the UK is finite and as such, anything they sell, will be pretty much “instead of another make” and I seem to remember we joined the EU to trade amongst ourselves where possible and whilst traditional Japanese manufacturers such as Nissan, Honda and Toyota have invested millions into manufacturing plants in the UK and Europe and employ tens of thousands of European workers, it kind of goes against the grain that we should be buying vehicles that will have a detrimental effect on their sales, but that’s life I guess!