At this point you're probably wondering who this 'Great Wall' crew are. Well they're no newcomers to the car building game. In fact they've been at it since 1976 when they started building trucks. Back in those days, the Communist Party in China controlled everything, from how many children you had to whether you were entitled to a bicycle. They certainly weren't dishing out too many licences to build cars. So Great Wall stuck to what it was good at and made pick-ups instead. By 1998 in fact, it was the biggest producer of pick-ups in China. It then became the first Chinese automotive manufacturer to go public, being listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange in 2003.
Back then, exports had yet to take off, possibly because of model names like the Wingle, the CoolBear, the Cowry and the Sailor. Still, they seemed to go down well in China. Come 2010, Great Wall produced the most popular SUV in China, the Haval H Series, and the brand produced 468,800 vehicles in 2011, making it the tenth biggest vehicle maker in China. Given that Volvo produced 315,000 cars in the same period, you'd have to see Great Wall as a manufacturer with some clout.
We first felt this in the UK in 2012 when the company's Steed pick-up arrived in a hand-picked selection of British dealerships and Great Wall started offering the vehicle for sale for a mere £1 down payment. In March 2013, two special editions were announced - the 'Steed Chrome' and the 'Steed Tracker'. Building on the impressive array of standard equipment found on the entry-level Steed S, both models featured the Steed's uprated towing capacity of 2,500kg (braked) and a 1,050kg maximum payload.
In addition to the standard Steed S equipment list, the Chrome got chrome side bars and sports bars, chrome fog-lamp surrounds, chrome rear-lamp finishers, stainless-steel door entry guards, an over-rail bedliner, tinted windows, metallic paint and carpet floor mats. The Tracker was fitted with General Grabber All-Terrain Tyres, an over-rail bedliner, a tow bar with audible monitor, front and rear mud flaps, rubber mats and metallic paint.
The Steed was treated to a six-year/125,000 mile warranty deal in April 2013, comprising the 3 year/60,000 mile manufacturer warranty plus a further 3 year/125,000 mile powertrain extended warranty but was only offered on Steeds purchased between April and the end of June 2013.