Chinese automaker Great Wall Motor (GWM) will be returning to the Malaysian market, as revealed by its ASEAN and Thailand president Elliot Zhang during his 2022 outlook this week. The move is part of the company’s plans to expand its business in Southeast Asia to four other countries, including our own.
“Great Wall Motor will utilise its foothold in Thailand to further expand towards the entire ASEAN region,” Zhang said during GWM’s Brand Day 2022 event in Thailand, which celebrated its successful first year in the country. “This year, we plan to launch GWM in four more countries, namely Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines, and Singapore.” Besides Thailand, the brand currently has an active presence in Laos, Cambodia, and Brunei.
According to website Drive Safe & Fast (DSF), notions of the brand’s return to Malaysia have been evident since November of last year. The publication reports that GWM have opened a local office and begun recruiting several key personnel since then, with even more positions in automotive and technology fields added just recently.
Currently, the manufacturing and distribution of the automaker’s Haval SUV models in Malaysia are exclusively operated by local company Go Auto. It is not known whether GWM’s return will affect the company’s business or allow it to continue its operations in the country.
On that note, Zhang did not reveal which GWM car models the company plans to debut along with its expansion, although it is speculated that several of its latest hybrids and EVs are the most likely candidates. These include the Haval Jolion hybrid SUV and its H6 plug-in hybrid variant, as well as the Ora Good Cat EV. Suffice it to say, we’ll only know for sure once the Chinese automaker has officially re-entered Malaysia in the very near future.