Great Wall Motors partners with YesAuto ahead of European launch

15 September 2021

Great Wall Motors (GWM) has partnered with used-car platform YesAuto in Germany as the Chinese carmaker makes a strategic move to gain more traction in Europe. The cooperation will aid GWM’s ambitious expansion plans to sell its vehicles to consumers on the continent.

The news was first announced at the IAA Mobility 2021 event, where GWM unveiled its Wey and Ora brands that it plans to launch in Europe soon. The company said the cars will bring an ‘unprecedented’ product experience to European users. ‘Together, the two models will help GWM explore the new energy vehicle market in Europe,’ the manufacturer said in a press statement.

European market entry

The Ora Cat is a compact battery-electric vehicle (BEV) with a youthful look. It has a range of up to 400km, depending on battery size. The Wey Coffee is a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) SUV from GWM’s premium brand with an electric-only range of 150km. Both vehicles are expected to be ready for delivery in Europe early in 2022 while pre-orders will be available from the end of this year. After Germany, the new models will also be launched in other European markets.

‘We are pleased about this great partnership and will accompany the market entry of Wey and Ora in Europe,’ said Olaf Liu, general manager of YesAuto Germany. ‘Great Wall Motors has an excellent reputation in Asia. We are delighted to be able to accompany and support this recognised Chinese vehicle manufacturer in its expansion overseas.’

YesAuto itself only entered the German market last year and has since expanded to the UK. The marketplace has grown rapidly and currently lists around one million used and new cars on its German website. With around 3,800 dealerships, the startup will give GWM valuable access to consumers and widen the carmaker’s reach.

Ramping up production

It is no coincidence that GWM is opting to collaborate with YesAuto, which is part of Chinese car sales portal As Europe’s largest automotive market, Germany will be a steppingstone for the carmaker as it enters the region. GWM, one of China’s largest SUV manufacturers, also said it plans to launch a European ‘brand experience centre’ in Munich in early 2022.

China’s homegrown EV makers are increasingly turning into tough competitors in Europe, as GWM now joins other Chinese manufacturers hoping to make an impact in the region. Headquartered in Shanghai, Nio announced its market entry in Norway earlier this year, marking the company’s first step overseas.

Meanwhile, rival Xpeng started shipping its flagship P7 sedan to EV-friendly Norway last month, expecting to deliver the model to customers in the fourth quarter of 2021. With Chinese carmakers ramping up production and model launches, the competition on the European EV market will undoubtedly intensify in the coming years, if not months.