2012 will see the long-expected arrival in the UK of Chinese car brands become reality.
IM Group has appointed 30 dealers to represent Chinese franchise Great Wall ready to begin sales with the March plate change.
A spokesman from Great Wall UK, part of Lord Edmiston’s IM Group, told AM the network would grow to 40 dealers by the end of the Q1.
The brand will launch with the Steed pick-up, which is the only confirmed model in the brand’s UK line-up at present.
Great Wall was planning to bring its C1 supermini to the UK, but expansions to the model range won’t happen until 2013.
A Great Wall UK spokesman said: “Cars are just starting to come to the UK and dealer demonstrators will be in place before the end of February.”
The spokesman said only “half a dozen” of the new Great Wall dealers will be former holders of the Daihatsu franchise, which IM Group withdrew from the UK in 2010 after yen/sterling exchange rate issues made importing it unprofitable.
Great Wall will be revealing more about its plans to launch in the UK at the end of February.
Manganese Bronze, the group behind London’s black cab, told AM in November of plans to appoint between 30 and 50 dealers for Chinese car brand Geely ready for the UK introduction of a C-segment hatchback at the end of 2012.
Geely is a stakeholder in Manganese Bronze and has owned Volvo Cars since buying the European carmaker from Ford in 2010.
And MG, owned by China’s SAIC Group, recently appointed GMAC as its finance supplier and wants to expand its 32-strong retail network to 100 sites by 2015.