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The Tank brand of luxury off-roaders from China plans to go global

Automaker is confident that its products will sell well outside its home market

Tank is a Great Wall Motors sub-brand that specializes in SUVs. PHOTO FROM TANK

Let’s face it. More Chinese car manufacturers are proliferating not just in our market, but overseas as well. We’re seeing the likes of Geely and MG pop up in other parts of the world. Soon, another player from the People’s Republic will be going international.

The company is known as Tank, the fifth-largest marque under the Great Wall Motors umbrella. This brand is known for its high-end off-roaders. The Tank 300 is its best-selling model, taking up a meaty 50% market share of China’s SUV segment.

Customers reportedly have to wait at least six months for a Tank 300. PHOTOS FROM TANK

Just to put into perspective how popular the Tank 300 is in its home market, the model racked up more than 10,000 orders during pre-sales, with all of the Monet Limited Edition vehicles spoken for within five minutes of the variant’s announcement. It’s incredibly hard to get one even today. Customers have to place a reservation half a year in advance. The 300 has a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox, and “an intelligent all-terrain control system” that should make it capable on and off the tarmac.

The Tank 700 pairs an old-school ladder frame with a high-tech air suspension system. IMAGE FROM PR NEWSWIRE

Buyers wanting something more premium with a lot less waiting can step up to the Tank 700. Even with a ladder-frame chassis, its manufacturer promises a smooth ride with the 700’s four-wheel independent air suspension. Power comes from a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6. The car’s “mecha-style” design looks like a Mercedes G-Class that went to Japan and became obsessed with anime.

Will the Tank 800's claimed superior build quality be at least as good as its European counterparts? IMAGE FROM PR NEWSWIRE

The flagship Tank 800 will probably go up against other upmarket vehicles as it looks quite similar to a Rolls-Royce Cullinan. It’s constructed from “high-grade materials” with “high-precision techniques,” and touts a full-size “commercial-style” cabin and various driver aids. Powering it is a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine with a plug-in-hybrid system and a nine-speed automatic gearbox.

Given the track record of Chinese automakers in the Philippines, it’s quite easy to dismiss their products as wheeled heaps of junk. But we highly suggest giving them a quick test drive. Companies like GAC are making respectable vehicles now, and one can only imagine how much better cars from China will become in the future. That said, are you looking forward to seeing Tank’s lineup being sold here?

Sam Surla

Sam is the youngest member of our editorial team. And he is our managing editor (believe it or not). He specializes in photography and videography, but he also happens to like writing about cars a lot.