First Chinese, Great Wall Steed vehicle to go on sale in UK

Is this the start of the revolution? The first major Chinese model is about to go on sale over here – the Great Wall Steed, a pick-up will become Britain’s cheapest double cab pick-up at £13,998 (ex-VAT), which is certainly an attractive price, at around £3,000 less than competitors.

Great Wall has been selling cars in Italy for a while now (indeed a friend of ours was shocked last weekend when his “Qashqai class” rental car at Milan Airport turned out to be a Great Wall Hover.

Great Wall is a big name in China. It claims to be the market leader for SUVs and pick-ups, with an annual production of 700,000 units and has been around for 35 years. If the product is good enough, British buyers will be interested – we are a pretty open minded lot when it comes to new car brands, as companies like Kia have demonstrated.

However, the Steed will need to be close in abilities to its more established competition. 10 years ago Tata tried to sell the dreadful Loadbeta in the UK at around £10,000. However, it sank without trace, as no-one could see why they should choose it over a second-hand Mitsubishi L200 or Ford Ranger.

That is always the question for cheap new vehicles – not only whether it as good as new competitors, but also whether it is as good as a used alternative.