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Pierre Leclercq: Haval Concepts R and B close to production versions

SHANGHAI – The Concepts R and B shown by Great Wall Motor’s Haval SUV brand at Auto Shanghai 2015 are close to production versions, according to Pierre Leclercq, vice president and design director of Great Wall Motor.

“They are production oriented. We don’t want to show something that is not close to production,” Leclercq told CBU/CAR at the Haval stand on April 20.

The Concepts R and B gave a glimpse of the future design direction of Haval SUVs as part of the Red & Blue Strategy announced by the brand at the show. All future Haval SUV models will bear either Red or Blue Haval logos, which target two different customer groups, and will be distributed through two separate networks.

The Haval H6 Coupe – the first model bearing the Blue Haval logo and billed as China’s first SUV Coupe – went on sale on the same day at a price range of ¥139,800-¥171,800 ($22,548-$27,710). The larger H8, bearing the Red Haval logo, also hit the market after two delays due to an issue with the model’s rear decelerator. Pre-production models of the H7 and H7L also made their debuts

“The Red and Blue are basically two brands within Haval with two different characters and two different DNAs,” Leclercq said. “Blue stands for more rational technological look, while Red is more emotional and sportier. The idea is to really give our clients the possibility of having different designs and different DNAs on different size of SUVs.”

According to Leclercq, the Concept B, which is very small, solid and offers no less quality and premium than any of Haval’s top of the line models, will target young and hip clients. The Concept R, on the other hand, is a mid-size coupe and reflects the passion, emotion and spontaneity one associates with red color. It will target mainstream families.

Leclercq indicated that both Concepts not only reflect Great Wall’s focus and dedication to a world of SUVs but also show that quality is extremely important for Haval. Both Concepts offer standard 9-inch center screens and premium interior with high-end materials. Future Haval models will be identified by a new front architecture based on trapezoidal grille linked with thin headlights, signatures that reflect the front and rear of the car.

“Haval is a design driven company. This is why quality is so important to us,” said Leclercq.

Leclercq, who designed the BMW X6, believes that the Coupe reflects the idea that not everybody wants big cars. “The Coupe is sporty in proportion, lower, wider and has a lot of muscle. The sexiness of the body is extremely important for such a concept and we want to offer something for people who don’t need to have as much room as they have in an H8 or H9, for example,” Leclercq told CBU/CAR.

Great Wall Motor recently sold its 2 millionth Haval SUV. The brand sold 220,000 SUVs in the first quarter of this year, nearly twice the sales in the same period last year, and has led China’s SUV market for 12 consecutive years.

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