The UK pick-up market is becoming even more interesting with news that from March, sales of the Chinese pick-up from Great Wall will begin in the UK.
Called the Wingle in China, the new model will – thankfully – be known as the Steed in the UK and as this was being written, vehicles were arriving at UK dealers for the March on sale date. The vehicle is being imported into the UK by the IM Group (Isuzu and Subaru) and at present there are around 32 Great Wall dealers, with the intention of this rising to about 40 this year.
The Great Wall Steed has been on sale in Italy, the only other European market, and so the UK will be a very important test for the Chinese manufacturer and the UK importer. We went to press before full details were announced, but it can be seen from the picture that this is an interesting looking machine – reminiscent of the Isuzu Rodeo. The price will be all-important, but it is likely to be competitive and that the Great Wall Steed will aim to achieve the moniker that it’s a ‘great workhorse’.
There may be questions on the build quality of the vehicle, especially in areas of plastic and interior trim, and how it compares to the Amarok and Ranger, top dogs at the moment from VW and Ford, but that will be balanced by the expectedly aggressive price. Prices as low as £16,000 have been mentioned. What is perhaps more important is that while this is the first Great Wall to enter the UK, it’s not likely to be the last – at least, if the Chinese manufacturer has its way. On this year’s Dakar, a Great Wall Haval achieved a very commendable seventh place overall. The Havel is a BMW X5-sized 4×4. So, what price that model being the next brick in the wall…?