1) Haval last year sold over one million SUVs on its home market in China. Pause to digest that figure. That's close to double – yes, double! – the total number of new vehicles sold per annum in South Africa. Clearly the discerning Chinese market is onto a good thing. A very good thing indeed.
2) Haval is the luxury sub-brand of GWM, which is now trading locally as Haval SA. And it enjoys the full backing of the giant mothership in China.
3) With machines like the newly launched H2, Haval is comprehensively and convincingly redefining everything the cynical might have thought about Chinese vehicles. Its sophistication, build quality and refinement is simply world class, not just rivalling but surpassing that of its competitors.
4) More highly enticing Haval products are set for our market, while the H2 – currently grabbing headlines – is available with a sweet-shifting six-speed auto or manual transmission. Power comes courtesy of a punchy 105kW, 202Nm 1.5-litre turbopetrol. An engine that's perfect for everything from intercity travel to urban commuting to exploring country roads.
5) A five-year/100 000km warranty, a five-year/60 000km service plan, and five years roadside assistance are standard. With that sort of support, peace of mind is all part of the deal.
6) The Haval H2 boasts a five-star C NCAP rating – something that's helped by its standard six airbags. Yup, six.
7) Speaking of equipment levels, they're lavish. Figure on the likes of automatic headlights and windscreen wipers, climate control, high-res touchscreen infotainment display, six-way adjustable driver's chair – and more. Much more.
8) Even the most respected motoring media has been rapturous about the H2.
9) Wheels 24 said that: “Well Haval has taken the specification and price advantage concept and jumped straight in with quality to match all the competitors...freeway cruising is a breeze with the engine ticking over at just 2 000rpm...it starts by offering exceptional value for money, then it adds a top spec and level of luxury and tops it off with quality and a ride I couldn't fault.”
10) Highly respected website Cars.co.za reckoned that: “...the H2 is remarkably refined and NVH levels are well suppressed. “
Cars.co.za added, at the launch of the H2, that: “What impressed us most was the cabin quality of the products on static display. The shut lines are precise, rubber seals correctly lined up and roof linings neatly finished. The quality of Chinese products has improved considerably when you look at what Haval's offering and this is just the start. The buttons and switchgear look and feel like they've been taken straight from the Volkswagen Audi Group parts bin and the bigger models feature all-digital dashboards, just like the Volkswagen Active Info Display and Audi Virtual Cockpit.”
11) Leisure Wheels said: “It's not just another Chinese vehicle with all the preconceptions that South Africans could associate with that. Haval is a premium sub-brand of GWM and the C-NCAP has given this SUV a five-star safety rating.”
12) CAR magazine, meanwhile, reporting from a recent international launch in China, noted that: “As we hit 180km/h on the banked oval at Haval's sparkly new R10-billion Technical Centre in its home city of Baoding in China's Hebei province, I'm astonished at the composure displayed by the H2 light crossover. “
13) Haval H2 prices start at just R244 900 for the five-model range – prices that are perfectly geared for the cash- and credit-strapped South African consumer. Expect the additional Haval models set to soon hit our market to also – without being hyperbolic – blow the competition out of the water on price. As well as quality, ride, refinement and all the rest...