Spring has sprung, the grass is ris and I wonder where that new ute is ?

It seems. that Spring is ute season with yet another new pick up set to be launched in Australia, following hot on the heels of recent launches by Isuzu, Mazda and Toyota.

GWM, the brand we once knew as Great Wall Motors  has announced it is set to launch its new  4×4 Dual Cab int he coming months

With a new name that is less confronting for local buyers than the old Great Wall moniker, GWM has confirmed that its new ute will be called the Cannon  and will come in three grades.

Based on its new P71 chassis that it shares with its Haval sibling the H9 SUV, the Cannon will only be offered in dual-cab configuration, with luxury features for Australian buyers including full leather interior trim, keyless entry and push-start, LED headlights, a digital dashboard, a new multimedia offering, and better styling.

It is believed that the Cannon will feature  key safety items including AEB, Adaptive Cruise, a 360 degree parking camera.

GWM  says that  the new Cannon is completely new from the ground-up, and boasts ‘ significant improvements across a number of key areas including safety, design, connectivity, capability and comfort’

“We  expect it to be a key driver in volume and brand growth in the coming years” the company said.

The  lineup at launch will consist of the entry level Cannon, mid-spec Cannon-L and top of the range Cannon-X.

Exact features and specifications are yet to be disclosed but the company says ‘buyers can expect a high level of standard specification combined with compelling value’.

Sales of the Utes once known as Great Wall have not had the same sparkle they once had in Australia when the original cheap and cheerful Great Walls hit our roads through importer distributor Ateco. Since those halcyon days the factory owned Haval Australia took over and jacked the price and struggled with a smaller and less aggressive dealer network and saw  sale volume drop significantly.

It remains to be seen if the new GWM Cannon can fire up the brand once more and win sales in the significant and growing but  increasingly competitive and crowded Australian ute market