HAVAL: Now Officially A Globally Recognised And Revered Giant

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Here in South Africa, Haval is fast becoming an acclaimed purveyor of world-beating SUVs.

Indeed, from the moment the H2 hit the local market around the middle of last year, buyers have been queuing outside Haval's rapidly expanding network of dealerships (more of which in a minute) to lay their hands on this baby.

Ditto the bigger and yet bolder H6 and H6 C models that followed - while the svelte and sleek H9 that we can expect later this year promises more of the same, and then some.

Even the more critical elements of the motoring media have been pretty rapturous about these SUVs - which comprehensively rewrite every and any notion the market might have harboured about Chinese vehicles.

After all, Haval's products are not just good. They're great. By international standards. And in every sphere, too, from ride to refinement to reliability, not to mention value for money.

But what we see here in Mzansi is just the tip of the iceberg. The very tip. For on a global level, Haval is a titan - and it has just achieved a placing in the hugely, highly prestigious Brand Finance Global 500 2018 survey.

Now Brand Finance Global 500 is an internationally prestigious brand in itself.

And to quote them, "Brand Finance is the world's leading independent brand valuation and strategy consultancy."

Something that not many people in the know would argue about, with its top three 2018 companies including Amazon, Apple, and Google.

More specifically, Haval made history by debuting at number 249 on this year's list - proof aplenty that this Chinese giant is now a recognised colossus not just in its home country, but on the global stage too.

Indeed, while some South Africans might still be getting their tongues around the noun "Haval" - which frankly could also be an adjective for "excellence!"- there's no debate that it now plays in the most major of leagues.

And so it should. In its home country alone, it moves in the region of one-million plus vehicles per annum. Pause to consider that figure, which is roughly around twice - yes twice! - the total number of vehicles sold annually here in SA.

Closer to home, Haval is a safe bet: on all fronts.

The H2, to take one example, has a five-star A NCAP rating, so comprehensively dispelling any myths and misinformation that Chinese cars are unsafe.

And while we're here, leading website Cars.co.za had this to say - among other good things - about the H2 1.5T Luxury auto:

"Can there be a more effective way to enter the local market than by introducing a model that offers almost unbelievably good value for money compared with its well-established rivals?

"The arrival of Haval in South Africa had been anticipated for a number of years and even though the H2 arrives in Mzansi half way through its model life, there seems less risk when entering a burgeoning market segment where long-established brand biases count for less.

"Whereas sister brand GWM's SUV offerings aimed to create an air of prestige on top of a brand whose reputation was based primarily on commercial vehicles, Haval's product pitch is purposely premium and the brand's reputation in the East is anything but insignificant."

More than that, Haval is here to stay in South Africa - even at a time when certain other automotive brands are leaving our shores. They mean it, too.

Haval already boasts 23 accredited dealerships. And by the end of 2018? Well, you can expect to see at least 35 dealerships nationwide. That's a footprint to rival some well-established motor manufacturers.

It's also the sort of footprint that gives you an idea of just how and why - on an international level - Haval made such a stunning debut on the Brand Finance Global 500 2018 ratings.

As Haval's National Sales Manager, Tyrone Alberts - himself an automotive industry veteran - puts it:

"Haval's placing on the Brand Finance Global 500 irrevocably cements its reputation as an industry giant, and when South African customers buy into Haval, they have the reassurance that they're buying into a company of global repute."