Great Wall Motors is once again altering its strategy for the European market. The latest development, however, brings unfortunate news for its workforce: the company has announced the closure of all its European offices, resulting in the termination of 100 employees. This move comes amidst a downturn in the electric vehicle market in Europe, as revealed to Automotive News Europe.

Despite these office closures, Great Wall Motors plans to continue selling its vehicles in the European countries where it currently operates, including Sweden, the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy. The company’s operations in these markets will now be managed directly from China.

According to a company spokesperson, this is an “organizational modification” driven by the “difficult market conditions.” This adjustment follows a previous reorganization where two initially planned brands were consolidated under the GWM umbrella.

Competition and Tariffs

The declining demand is not the sole challenge for Great Wall Motors. The company faces intense competition within the European market, particularly from aggressive pricing strategies of competitors like Tesla. Additionally, the looming threat of punitive tariffs on Chinese imports by the European Union has injected further uncertainty into GWM’s strategic planning.

This potential imposition of tariffs is a significant concern for a company with a broad portfolio of electric vehicles.

Future Prospects: European Manufacturing

In response to these challenges, GWM is accelerating its plans to establish manufacturing facilities in Europe. Potential locations for these new factories include Germany, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. This strategic shift aims to mitigate the impact of tariffs and strengthen the company’s presence in the European market. Moreover, to navigate the potential tariff landscape, Great Wall Motors is considering the official importation of combustion-engine vehicles alongside its electric offerings.

Continued Market Presence

Despite the organizational changes and market pressures, Great Wall Motors remains committed to the European market. The company continues to import and sell its vehicles, such as the WEY 03 and Ora 03, which have already made their mark in Sweden. Additionally, the newly launched Ora 07 in China is set to debut in several European countries, including Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Baltic states, and Bulgaria, but GWM has stopped any other expansion strategy, which included also Norway.


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