Great Wall Motor Co., the country’s largest producer of SUV models has planed to restart deliveries of its top priced sport utility vehicle in April, according to a source that has knowledge of the matter.
The model was twice stopped last year due to quality issues and the brand will restart test drives of its 200,000 yuan ($32,000) H8 model later on this month, planning to reintroduce the sales of the model in time for the Shanghai auto show, disclosed the person, who opted to remain anonymous because the company has not made any official announcements on the matter yet. “If the company is confident of resuming sales this time, it means that all the problems are solved,” said Harry Chen, a Shenzhen, China-based analyst with Guotai Junan Securities Co. Analysts believe the reintroduction of the model would lift ailing sales for the brand – while investors have refrained from pushing forward the company after the automaker repeatedly stopped the introduction of the model – its first foray in a price segment that is overtaken by foreign brands.
The model’s sales were first stopped last January after numerous negative reports from the media following test drives and the carmaker again suspended the model in May after buyers reported “knocking noises” at high speeds – Great Wall said back then it would only resume deliveries once a “premium standard” was achieved. According to figures from the China Passenger Car Association, the Chinese SUV segment remains one of the hottest – jumping in January 62 percent while the overall car market only surged 10 percent.