In collaboration with HAVAL Edenvale, Surf4cars will be doing a series of car reviews starting with the H1: in the next coming weeks we will have reviewed the entire range of HAVAL models. However, for the majority, there still remains a nescience surrounding the HAVAL brand. Therefore, let me enlighten you!

GWM consists of four different divisions: GWM PICKUP, HAVAL, ORA and WEY. Including a vast network of strategic partners, like Continental, Bosch, Webasto, Ricardo, BorgWarner, ZF Friedrichshafen, Magna PT, (formerly known as GETRAG), and Hella. As well as a jointly invested innovation between BMW Group and Great Wall Motors Global Holdings, an e-mobility project called Spotlight Automotive. Most of us are familiar with HAVAL, however ORA and WEY remain in obscurity. WEY is the first Chinese auto-brand to be named after its founder and GWM Chairman, Wei Jianjun, “English sub-titles,” Jack Wey. A futurist and pioneer he is notorious for his ‘iron fist’ work-ethic. Yet in spite of his $7.5Billion net worth, that’s according to Forbes magazine, Mr Wey chooses to live in a small but modest apartment. WEY represents the pinnacle of GWM’s high-end premium vehicle production, together with ORA, they are leading the future of electric mobility, A.I, intelligent ecology and autonomous vehicles. To date, China is the world’s largest consumer of plug-in hybrid cars with 767,900 units, followed by the United States with 567,740 and the UK with 159,910. Moreover, WEY has a small but novel range of avant-garde SUV’s. Which in addition to the VV5, VV6, VV7, VV7 GT Pro and the VV7 GT Brabus, their line-up of plug-in hybrid electric-vehicles include the WEY P8, VV5-Hi4 and the VV7-Hi4.  If you wondering where to benchmark these vehicles for quality and design – think Jaguar F-Pace. Especially when viewed from inside the VV7’s opulent and extravagantly spacious cabin. The VV7 is propelled by a 175kw, 2.0l, turbocharged engine mated to a 7-speed DCT transmission that produces 390nm of torque – while fulfilling all the safety requirements of the highest European standards. Likewise, the WEY P8 PHEV’s parallel hybrid-powertrain consists of a 2.0l, turbocharged petrol engine mated to an AWD 6-speed DCT torque-converter, paired with two electric-motors, one on each axle: delivering a combined output of 250kw of power and 524nm of torque. The luxury performance SUV range of WEY VV7 models and VV7Hi-4, P8 PHEV’s variants ride on a pliant, independent sports-suspension and chassis. Along with a low-centre of mass, the VV7 handles like it is on train-tracks while the VV7 GT Pro and GT Brabus are strikingly track-bias. However, I have both good and bad news. First the bad news, WEY is not destined for launch in South Africa, but the good news is we will be seeing some newer HAVAL models sometime next-year.

While HAVAL’s H division is due for a refresh and a bit of pruning. Rumour has it, the updated range will include the new HAVAL H6, the F5, F7 and F7x. Just over a decade ago South Africa experienced an influx of Asian brand vehicle manufacturers – not all were Chinese – but most were of a sub-standard quality. However, HAVAL’s prediction is, once in South Africa, the new model line-up is set to cause a massive market disruption – leading to a radical transformation of the status-quo.

Written by Dean Joseph