After what can only be described as a shaky start, Chinese car brands are set to play a bigger role in Australia with new and renewed models due here over the next two years.
And importers are confident that past quality and safety issues will be addressed with the arrival of safer, better-built new models.
Great Wall will add three new passenger cars and a soft-road SUV to its line-up by the end of 2014.
Chery will replace its range with fresher, safer vehicles which will satisfy toughening Australian regulations.
In WA, John Hughes said that he would start adding to the Geely model range and also add a second Chinese manufacturer, ZX Auto, to the list of manufacturers he represented.
The ZX Auto single and double cab utes are available in 4x2 and 4x4 and are powered by Mitsubishi's 2.4-litre petrol engine, the same motor used in the GWM utes, matched to a manual transmission with steering and suspension tuned specifically for Australian conditions.
With a starting price of $16,990 drive-away, they are the cheapest light commercial on the market.
Mr Hughes said ZX Autos was also in the early stages of developing passenger cars.
Geely is only available in WA and currently offers just one model, the MK sedan and hatch - the first Chinese passenger car sold in Australia.
But, after November, it can't be sold here because Electronic Stability Control becomes compulsory for all new cars sold in Australia after then.
This will also spell the end of the Chery J1, currently Australia's cheapest car at $10,990.
Mr Hughes said he was in the final stages of negotiating to sell the Geely EC718 small sedan and hoped to have it available in the next few months for under $15,000.
The addition of passenger cars to GWM's portfolio is a significant step for a company which has restricted itself to light commercial vehicles and SUVs since it arrived in Australia in 2009.
And GWM general manager Peter McGeown predicted that the influx of new models would see the company nearly double its yearly sales to 20,000 in 2014.It would also lift it from a niche player to a mainstream competitor. Last year only 13 of the 47 manufacturers who sell passenger cars in Australia exceeded 20,000 sales.
Mr McGeown also said he expected new models to achieve at least four stars in the ANCAP crash testing.
"We are aiming as high as possible," he said. "I couldn't say I know exactly what it is going to be but the market will only accept a certain level now and that's one of the things we are extremely conscious of."
The first of GWM's passenger cars to arrive will be the Ford Fiesta-sized VX10 small hatch, which should go on sale about September with a sub-$14,000 price tag. It will be powered by a 1.5-litre engine and come equipped with six airbags, a reversing camera and alloy wheels.
The Haval H6 SUV will follow before the end of the year and will enable the company to compete in the booming soft-roader market.
GWM and Chery spokesman Daniel Cotterill said that it would be available with a newer generation of the 2.0-litre common rail turbo diesel currently used in the X200 SUV, or a 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine.
It's expected to be offered in 4x2 and 4x4 configurations but at first will only be available as a manual.
In 2014, the VX30 small hatch and the slightly larger VX50 sedan will be added to the line-up, with both powered by a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine. Mr Cotterill said the Chery J3 and J11 would be upgraded with electronic stability control before the end of the year to ensure they met the new regulations.Great Wall will add three new passenger cars and a soft-road SUV to its line-up.
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