from Gasgoo.comOctober 9, 2008 - Great Wall Motor, a major pickup truck and SUV producer in China, said that it will launch its Coolbear sedan at the beginning of next year and its another new model, the Great Wall Mini SUV, will be rolled out in early 2009, reported Beijing Times today.
The Great Wall Coolbear, as the company's third compact sedan after the Great Wall Peri (GWperi) and Florid, originally had its launch scheduled for July 2008, but now its rollout is postponed to January 2009 as “part of the company's corporate strategy,” said a sales executive of Great Wall Motor, adding that the Florid model will go on sale in the coming November.
Following the Florid, Great Wall Motor expects to roll out a new model every few months in the years ahead, with the Coolbear as its first new model to hit the market in 2009. The GWperi car, launched earlier this year, has been entangled in a lawsuit with Italian carmaker Fiat who claims that this car is a copy of its Panda model.
After the launch of the Coolbear, Great Wall will release another new model, the Great Wall Mini SUV, in early 2009. It has been touted as the first 1.3L four-wheel-drive SUV made in China. An insider from the company said that the Mini SUV will be priced betwen 50,000 ($7,330) and 70,000 yuan.
Great Wall Motor, China's largest maker and exporter of pickups and SUVs, has made its foray into the small-car segment. The company launched its first sedan Peri in March this year. The Coolbear and Mini SUV are set to become the most 'cool' and 'sporty' of the Great Wall Motor lineup.
Great Wall launched their range of concept cars to a shocked audience at the 2007 Shanghai Show, the shock came from the fact that many of these cars bearing Great Walls logo were actually based on, or at least heavily ‘influenced’ by other automotive companies designs. So far, this has landed Great Wall in various legal troubles in Italy, leading to their Fiat Panda-esque model, the Perry, being band from Europe for IPR violations.
Except it appears that Great Wall is still unfazed by these legal issues, and is still plugging on with its plans for the Cool Bear, which looks a lot like Toyota’s Scion XB, to further these issues, pictures which allegedly show a first generation Scion XB in Great Walls factory:
In the below pictures, rudimentary shells for the Cool Bear are on display, also images of the forth coming Cool Bears interior can be seen:
The ultimate photo must be his one though, the unnamed photographer from the Netease auto portal pulled back the tape on the above silver Scion XB to reveal:
Great Wall has had an amazing amount of succes with its SUV and Truck range, but to taint its good reputation with multiple amounts of copying is very foolish for a fledgling company with aspirations of heading to Europe and the USA to do. The Scion XB is an incredibly cool car, a car that is so ugly that its design actually appeals to fashionable young drivers, the Scion range should have been offered in China as well as the USA, but perhaps Toyota wished to build up loyalty within the Toyota fold before launching sub brands in the PRC. Toyota has had several models copied, or fully cloned, in China, and its about time they got tough about it, forcing Chinese car makers into producing cars. The actions of a few Chinese car makers are souring the fledgling industry as a whole, before its even had a big chance to leave China for the promised auto markets of Europe and North America.