The automotive space in the Philippines is continuously growing with new entries from China. In fact, Great Wall Motor is poised to reenter our market with a new distributor called Luxuriant Automotive Group (LAGI).
LAGI is the automotive division of the SQ Group, which is responsible for distributing tire brands like Sailun, Zeneos, Gripper and Beast, as well as automotive repair and maintenance equipment.
The two firms formally signed a distributorship agreement yesterday at Marco Polo Ortigas, which is in line with GWM’s goal to expand globally. Present was Lilian Cui, the general manager of Great Wall Motors’ Philippines Project, and Ruben Tan, the president of Luxuriant Automotive.
And the company is serious about its expansion plans in Southeast Asia, with it acquiring an assembly plant in Rayong, Thailand, from General Motors last year. So you can expect that the vehicles arriving on our shores will be sourced from this plant.
So, what can we expect from the Chinese manufacturer and the distributor? After a quick lunch with the executives from both GWM and Luxuriant earlier this week, we were able to confirm that they would be initially introducing three products: the Haval Jolion subcompact crossover, the Haval H6 compact crossover, and the GWM Cannon/Poer pickup truck.
We got to take a brief look at the H6, which was in its mid-grade form with a 1.5-liter turbocharged gasoline engine. But interestingly, we were told that it would also be offered as a self-charging hybrid for the top-grade variant, which should put it on the list of many eco-warriors.
The brand is set to formally launch in March 2023, with three possible showroom locations being eyed—one on UN Avenue in Manila, one in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, and one in Manila Bay in Pasay.
Plus, the company aims to release its other brands under the Great Wall Motor umbrella, like Tank and Ora, which should also spur other offerings like HEV, PHEV, and BEV models.
From the short time we spent with the executives and their car, we can tell you that this is going to be one Chinese brand that you’ll want to keep an eye out for.