Witnessing the ascension of new yet very successful high-end EV brands like Tesla, Nio, XPeng and others in the market, many established automakers are coming up with such new EV brands of their own. China’s Great Wall Motors plans to take a shot at premium EVs and smart EVs with a new brand, as per a report released by reuters.com.
Sources in the know-how of Great Wall Motors’ business plans told Reuters that the new EV-only brand is internally referred to as the ‘SL project’. The company will launch electric SUVs and electric sedans under this brand, and some of them will have a combustion engine to serve as a range extender. These models could be positioned as alternatives to global premium EVs like the Tesla Model Y and Tesla Model 3. We don’t have information on the number of models or their size class yet.
Chinese automakers have the most complex brand structures globally, with multiple standalone brands for each product categories based on body styles, powertrain technology and market positioning. Great Wall Motors is no exception, with four brands already in the basket: Wey, Haval, Ora and GWM Pickup.
Wey is a brand for luxury models, Haval focuses on SUVs, Ora deals in only EVs and GWM Pickup handles the commercial business. While Ora is an EV brand, it is associated with low-cost models. On the other hand, while Wey is a luxury brand, the report says that it hasn’t been successful in the market. Moreover, Wey has a big line-up of combustion engine models that GWM probably doesn’t want to discontinue yet. Maybe it is for these reasons that Great Wall Motors decided to form a new brand for upscale electric cars.
The Tesla Model 3 is locally manufactured in China and it has been very successful there. The Tesla Model Y will enter production alongside the electric sedan at the Tesla Giga Shanghai plant in the coming months, and it could drastically increase sales for the American brand as locals love SUVs.