HAVAL Is On The Move - LITERALLY!
The eagle-eyed and inquisitive might have noticed a flurry of activity around Haval and GWM's massive parts warehouse in Durban - what with loaded trucks leaving the premises, signaling "good-bye" to this facility. A facility that has done sterling duty for over a decade.
And - before we go any further - remember that the two companies are intertwined, with Haval as a purveyor of posh SUVs basically being a prestige sub-brand of Great Wall Motors.
But far from signaling that something is amiss at the company, it's actually testament to its epic growth as well as the fact that it's here to stay as a permanent fixture on the South African automotive scene.
The parts warehouse will - by the end of this month - be situated in Linbro Park Business Park in Sandton. The new warehouse, not too surprisingly, will be bigger and yet better-stocked than ever before. Which is pretty much what you'd expect from this customer-centric brand.
The fact that the new warehouse is centrally located will also benefit dealers and panelbeaters - and ultimately, of course, the customer, thanks to yet quicker deliveries from the comprehensive parts inventory.
In fact, it was never anticipated that space in the Durban warehouse would be a problem. But with Haval in particular being one of South Africa's fastest-growing automotive brands (and by the end of this year you can expect to see at least 35 accredited dealerships) it has simply outgrown the old premises.
Part of Haval's success also stems from the media support the brand has enjoyed across several prestigious outlets, among them IOL Motoring who had this (among other things) to say:
"In reputations we trust. Customers are willing to pay top dollar for car brands that have paid their dues over the years, and they tend to view newcomers with suspicion.
"Especially if those newcomers are built cheaply and have dodgy build quality and safety, as has been the case with many Chinese-built vehicles until now."
Added IOL Motoring:
"But, in the same way that Korean and Japanese marques went from cheap-and-nasty to establishing solid reputations, Chinese cars have been steadily improving over the past few years - some more than others. Haval seems to be at the forefront of this Chinese automotive revolution.
"It's the premium arm of working-class brand GWM and it concentrates solely on SUVs. Its vehicles still offer significant price savings over established market rivals but without the quality shortcuts that have plagued so many Chinese offerings.
"A few months ago we were reasonably impressed by the Haval H2 SUV we road tested, and now the larger H6 C has come our way and bolstered our growing enthusiasm for the brand."
We at Haval can hardly disagree with that - nor can our rapidly growing, loyal client base...
And as Tyrone Alberts, Haval South Africa's National Sales Manager, puts it:
"With Haval Motors South Africa growing at an accelerated pace, we have outstripped our current parts warehousing facility in KZN, and therefore we are moving our warehouse operations to a new premises in Johannesburg, with improved facilities conducive to efficient parts distribution - as well as a first-pick rate of 94.1 percent."
Adds auto industry veteran Tyrone:
"We will now have every department of our OEM operations under one roof. We look forward to improving our services to the South African public and our dealers alike, enhancing their experience with our award-winning brand and superb products."