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HomeFeaturesThe new GWM Tank 300 is off to a good start in South Africa

The new GWM Tank 300 is off to a good start in South Africa

The GWM Tank 300 has finally landed in South Africa and has already sold 11 units in less than a month – a decent sum for a high-end car from an unknown badge.

This is the first time that a Tank vehicle has ever been sold on local soil, and the 300 has evidently managed to find buyers keen to pick up the new badge in a segment populated by some of South Africa’s best-selling cars.

A new contestant enters the ring

Tank is a sub-brand of Great Wall Motors that specializes in capable off-road SUVs, with the 300 being the first of these to be made available to local customers.

At its launch, a company representative told the media that the 300 aims to compete with the likes of the Toyota Fortuner, Ford Everest, Isuzu mu-X, and Jeep Wrangler – cars that all have an established presence in our market.

The Toyota Fortuner, in particular, is a fan-favourite and was the 11th best-selling car in South Africa in 2023 (sixth if we only include passenger cars), making this a tough segment for even a well-known brand to break into.

For a better context of the market that the Tank 300 is trying to take over, these were the sales figures for each car in February 2024:

  • GWM Tank 300 – 11 units
  • Jeep Wrangler – 17 units
  • Isuzu Mu-X – 95 units
  • Ford Everest – 353 units
  • Toyota Fortuner – 722 units

Naturally, there’s a massive gulf between the Chinese newcomer and the mu-X, Everest, and Fortuner, but these are three cars that come from brands with a long history in South Africa.

Isuzu, Ford, and Toyota all have factories here, and the popularity of their SUVs is likely helped out by the sales of their bakkie equivalents which share the same engines, namely the Isuzu D-Max, Ford Ranger, and Toyota Hilux.

It’s also important to mention that while the GWM is competing in this segment, it is offering something different to the three best-sellers as it is a five-seater with a petrol engine, while the others are seven-seaters with diesel powerplants.

In many ways, the Jeep Wrangler is the best comparison to the Tank as both are premium five-seater 4x4s with a thirst for petrol, and so the 300’s initial sales are not far from the numbers achieved by the American’s.

One other thing worth considering is the price range of each model, which you can see below:

While it is not the cheapest of the group, the GMW’s starting price is nearly identical to the Isuzu, and it actually has the most affordable flagship despite featuring a petrol-hybrid drivetrain.

All the other models, especially the Everest and Wrangler, have a much higher window sticker if you want to get everything they have to offer, which once again illustrates that the Chinese option is competing on an intriguing value proposition.

While it’s too soon to say whether the Tank 300 will be a major hit in South Africa, it is clear that the company behind it has ambitions to take on the legacy brands in our market.

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