Will China’s Great Wall Steed pickup truck find its way to America?

The Great Wall Steed pickup truck looks the business without looking too familiar.

Okay – I admit the name “Great Wall Steed pickup truck” is a bit much – but the vehicle itself has potential. The Great Wall Steed is a small, four door pickup truck that’s now making inroads into Europe and Asia – including Australia and South Africa. It comes with a 2.0-liter common-rail diesel that puts out about 143 horsepower and makes approximately 148 lbs-feet of torque. A six-speed manual comes standard and 4X4 is an option.

The big story is not only its cheap at £13,998 price, (in the UK) it’s that consumers say it’s solid little truck. 
The British price would translate to over $24,000 – but the United State’s fees could significantly reduce that price.
Sold here, we could be looking at a $15,000, well equipped pickup truck. Sure, the Great Wall Steed pickup truck has ground to make up to compete head to head with Nissan, Toyota and General Motors in the States. Do you remember when a small company named Hyundai was a crap brand in the USA? I do.
The Great Wall Steed pickup truck is a simple vehicle that reminds me of what small trucks were like in North America a few decades back. In the UK, the Great Wall Steed pickup truck gets 34 mpg (Imperial MPG which is about 28 mpg US – which is still impressive). It’s UK payload is about 2,4000 lbs and it can tow about 4,400 lbs.
Yes, the Toyota Tacoma base model can match or beat these numbers – but at a bare-bones, single cab price of over $17,000.
According to Great Wall,  “Just £13,998 – The Steed S makes your money go further in lots of different ways. First, you get an exceptionally high level of equipment, including 16″ alloy wheels, leather interior, individually heated seats, Alpine Cd/USB/RDS Radio and electric windows throughout. All as standard.Next, you get advanced protection, with galvanized body panels and comprehensively rust-proofed chassis backed by a 6-year anti-perforation warranty for complete peace of mind. Plus twin airbags, Anti-lock Braking System and Electronic Brake Force Distribution for added safety.On top of that, running and insurance costs are lower than you might expect, as the Steed leads its class on urban fuel consumption, is one of the most economical off-roaders and has the cheapest insurance group* rating of any UK pick-up. All for less than the price you might expect to pay for a used pick-up.”Not too shabby.
Many consumers in the United States are desperate for a cheap, diesel truck to bash the hell out of while using it for real work. I have friends overseas that tell me that the Great Wall Steed pickup truck is one of the best original vehicles China has exported. It’s supposed to be tough, reliable and cheap.
We know that nearly every exporter wants to sell in the United States. Some of you who harbor anti Chinese points of view would be surprised at how many components of your vehicle, house, computer and other high-end toys are built with Chinese parts. The Great Wall Steed pickup truck could be re-badged as a Mitsubishi, Mazda or – who knows? Lots of automakers are eyeballing the United States.
Let me put it another way. The Indian company Mahindra spent millions on developing their small pickup for American consumers. I even caught them testing up here in Colorado. Granted, they opted out as their vehicle’s sales potential was downgraded – but the attempt was made nonetheless. The key to entering our market may rely of using an established automaker as the distributor before attempting to push a name Americans are not familiar with.
Based on what I have heard and see, would I buy a Great Wall Steed pickup truck?
Sure –
If it’s as rugged and reliable as some say it is – why not? I know a lot of folks who need a truck just like this. There may be a business case for Great Wall to bring its beefy little truck here.
What do you think?
Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism – Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.