SUV's made by controversial Chinese car maker to be sold in the Baltics21.12.2009, 15:37
China's Great Wall Motor Company will export its cars overseas using the UK-based car distribution company IM Group.
According to a report published in The Independent, Great Wall cars will be sold first in the Baltic states, and then, from 2011, in Scandinavia, the UK and Ireland.
IM Group which is already the UK distributor for Subaru, Daihatsu and Isuzu says that Great Wall vehicles will be compliant with all relevant European regulations, and will also meet similar standards of crash-worthiness to current European and Japanese models. That last point is especially important as the first Chinese models to be introduced to western markets, the Landwind SUV from Jiangling Motors and saloons from Brilliance, had their chances of success dented when they performed poorly in European safety tests.
According to Wikipedia, when Great Wall made an initial public offering on the Hong Kong stock exchange on December 15, 2003, it became the first private Chinese auto manufacturer to do so. There are at least six overseas "knock down factories" that produce Great Wall models from complete knock down kits; in Russia, Indonesia, Iran, Nigeria, Ukraine and Vietnam. These factories are not necessarily affiliated with or owned by Great Wall. Both the Iranian motor company Diar] and the Indonesian company WICM, a subsidiary of Indomobil Group, assemble Great Wall vehicles from complete knock down kits.
In 2008 an Italian court banned sales of the Great Wall Peri in the European Union because the car too closely resembles a Fiat Panda. Great Wall continued selling the car outside the EU, however. Other Great Wall models bear resemblances to foreign automaker's offerings, too. The Great Wall Coolbear looks like a Scion xB, the Great Wall Florid a Scion xA, and the concept car i7, a Toyota Yaris.