ITALY: Great Wall plans Europe launch next year
12 Dec 2005
Source: just-auto.com editorial team
Great Wall Automobile SUVs and pickups will be sold in Italy and Spain starting next year, Automotive News Europe has been told.
The Chinese automaker’s representatives claimed it could be selling 10,000 to 12,000 units in Italy within three years. Eurasia Motor Company will import the automaker’s Hover SUV and Deep pickup into Italy and Spain.
The two vehicles may encounter safety issues when they go on sale in Europe. They do not need to undergo crash tests by EU safety regulators because they will be imported with an N1 type-approval certificate intended for imported trucks.
In September Chinese automaker Jiangling Landwind Automobile started exporting its Landwind SUV to the Netherlands under a single-vehicle EU import regulation that does not require crash tests.
Dutch-based distributor Landwind Motor Corp was forced to delay the SUV's launch in Germany until February or March after the German auto club ADAC crash-tested the vehicle with "catastrophic" results. Landwinds sold in Europe now are being reinforced to improve crash safety.
"We are working to pass the European single type approval crash test by next summer," Marco De Bonis, Eurasia Motors' marketing deputy manager, said.
Eurasia Motors is a new company launched by a group of businessmen from Brescia, northeastern Italy.
De Bonis said Eurasia already has received 160 applications from interested dealers. In Italy it is planning to name 80 dealers next year and another 40 dealers in 2007.
For Spain, De Bonis said Eurasia is talking with two unnamed Spanish distributors, "but we could also decide to directly appoint dealers in Spain, as we are doing in Italy."
The Hover and the Deer will go on sale in Italy next spring, followed by Spain in the second half of next year.