If success were measured by fabulous naming, theGreat Wall Steed would be a hit. But we require more…
As you gaze upon the glorious visage of the GreatWall Steed, the first Chinese-brand car to go on sale in the UK (yes, we've hadChinese produce in Britain before - the current generation of 'MGs', mostnotably - but the mighty Steed is the first to appear under its originalChinese badging), you may see where this one is going. We've spent a decadeguffawing and thigh-slapping at the laughable horror of China's home-growncars: the Mini-aping knock-offs, the rickety saloons that folded like papier Machein crash tests. Our collective inability to believe that a country onceincapable of building decent cars could somehow, y'know, learn is about to biteus again. The dawn of the acceptable Chinese export is soon.
Not that the Steed is astonishing. It isn't. Butit's not bad: an acceptably average pick-up truck with an acceptablybelow-average price tag and, more significantly, proof that the ChineseRevolution is far closer than you might think. The Great Wall badge might nothave quite the cachet of, say, Porsche or SsangYong, but it's hardly a globalminnow. China's tenth-largest automaker employs 42,000 people around the worldand builds 700,000 cars every year. The Steed has been China's best-sellingpickup since 1998, shifting 120,000 examples each year.
And if you're picking a corner of the UK carindustry on which to mount an assault, the utilitarian pickup sector is a goodplace to start. Pickup buyers want value, reliability and the ability tosquelch across a post-Glastonbury mudpocalypse without sinking up to the windowline, and aren't worried about immaculate panel gaps, Savile Rowleather-stitching or a satnav system that knows where the nearest Pret A Mangeris.
For more information or to book a test drive of theGreat Wall Steed please call Denbury Diesels on 01803 220548