The Haval H2 – a Sino-SA success story
The Haval H2 made its South African debut at the very same time the brand from the Peoples’ Republic of China owned by Great Wall Motors made its entry into South Africa in May of 2017. GWM is no stranger to the SA market sporting a 12-year presence in the market but previously under the wing of an importer distributor. So, what with the entry into the country, this time as Haval and now as a wholly owned subsidiary to GWM Corporation.
Since May 2017 sales of the now infamous Haval brand climbed steadily as more and more South Africans chose the brand and pegging their bets on safety, reliability and trust. The corner stones of the Haval ethos the world over. From humble beginnings the brand is now selling in excess of 1000 units regularly with a new record sales figure being set in January 2020 of 1083 units sold within the borders of South Africa.
The Haval H2 is positioned as Haval’s global C category volume model and is not only famous globally as Haval’s first “World Car” but continues to maintain presence for its affordability together with its value proposition status. Launched in China in 2014 and in SA three years later the H2 was positioned originally as the “ideal choice” product offering. H2 has since become the global leader in the most competitive auto segment namely small SUV. The H2 is a multipurpose family vehicle with notable superiority in performance, safety, specification levels and styling. The H2 is sold in over 40 countries with approximately 16000 units sold monthly in China alone. The H2 has sold at a rate of over 10000 units per month in China for the last four years consecutively. In July 2019 the H2 sported over 750 000 retail units globally as well as being Haval South Africa’s top selling model since 2017. In-fact since its launch in South Africa, 7235 Haval H2 have been sold until December of 2019 and January 2020 saw over 500 units sold alone, making it one of the top three bestselling small SUVs in South Africa. A true Sino-SA success story.
Recently a gaggle of motoring journalists got the full treatment in the picturesque location of Hermanus to taste test something a little different than what the area in the Western Cape is known for. These journos were there to experience the official media launch of the all new Haval H2 which saw its official launch at the end of January 2020 after a very popular first reveal at the 2019 Festival of Motoring. Underneath, the new H2 is largely unchanged featuring the same 1.5 Turbo powerplant than its predecessor as well as the same chassis and gear box configurations as well as suspension. However, the styling is all new. The new H2 features a new hexagonally shaped grill, New front and rear bumpers as well as fenders and new arrow shaped headlights with LED technology on the Luxury model and a new hexagonally shaped taillight. The rear also features a new chrome strip, a realigned reflector with a raised protection strip as well as larger twin exhaust pipes and a new splitter plate all culminating in a more dynamic, sporty and aggressive design. The wheels feature an all ne 5 spoke 18-inch design rounding out what is a sexier, more stylish vehicle than its predecessor.
Internally the new H2 features a trendy, convenient and user-friendly layout for a more pleasurable driving experience than ever before whilst the addition of Apple Carplay is a welcome gadget. The seats have been restyled to give a sportier look and feel while the Luxury model offers a panoramic sunroof. In the previous version six airbags were only present in the Luxury model, well with the new H2 six airbags are present in both City and Luxury derivatives and yes you guessed it, the new model retains its ANCAP five star safety rating making it one of the safest SUVs on the road.
The new H2 is available in two specification levels namely City and Luxury, with both offering a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic transmission so inadvertently you have four model options to choose from in one of seven colours. Making sure Haval buyers have peace of mind, the H2 offers a 5 year 100 000km warranty, 5-year unlimited mileage roadside assistance as well as a 5 year 60 000km service plan. Pricing for the new Haval H2 starts at R269900 for the base City Manual model and hitting a ceiling of R329900 for the top spec Luxury Auto model. A mere R5000 or so more than its predecessor.
Gerhard Horn from Leisure Wheels was quoted saying:” One stand-out attribute worth mentioning is the noise, vibration and harshness levels. Driving along the coastal roads near Betty’s Bay and Kleinmond, we were completely unaware of how severe the wind was on the outside. It had no noticeable effect on the car’s handling and noise levels were impressively low.”
Sean Nurse from Autodealer added, “It is easy to see why the H2 has been so successful or the Chinese automaker, it offers a great value proposition, is practical and well specified.”
“Overall the H2 is a very good value proposition that provides a long list of standard features put together in a premium package and in a tightly contested segment it’s easy to see why they are so popular.” That’s what Willem van de Putte from IOL said after his time with the h2.
The new Haval H2 is still, the ideal choice. It’s still safe, reliable and trustworthy. It is more advanced, more distinct more aggressive and sportier. But most importantly the new Haval H2 is Still, Driven to Impress.