Great Wall comes to Thailand

Great Wall HavalChinese car maker Great Wall Motors has announced plans to invest of up to $340 million to set up a factory in Thailand, according to a China Car Times report.

The plans involve a new Thai manufacturing facility that will churn out low- to mid-range SUVs and pick-up trucks, both for the domestic market and for export to neighbouring nations. The plant will have an initial capacity of 100,000 units per year, with a further 50,000 added after a planned expansion.

In 2012, Great Wall sold 621,400 units globally, with SUV sales making up over 40 per cent of that number. A total of 96,500 units were exported in the same year.

It was also reported that the company will spin off its top-level brand Haval as a stand-alone brand to compete with marques like Land Rover and Jeep. Haval will also have separate sales outlets.

Great Wall Motors displayed five Haval SUV models at the Bangkok International Auto Show (March 27-April 7) in preparation for its entry into the Thai market.