China has been one of the fastest developing countries in the world over the last two decades: it’s seen unprecedented economic growth, massive rises in consumer incomes and is one of the only places to maintain a positive trading balance in the world. All this growth, of course, means a middle class that is getting not only bigger but more aspirational and after a taste of the finer things in life, and what finer things are there than motorhomes!?
Motorhome ownership very much remains the domain of the wealthy in places like China and the sort of prices that we see here translate extremely unfavourably when sold on the Chinese market. This, along with a variety of shipping costs and taxes means that it’s tough to buy your first motorhome in China.
However, China, known for its prowess in manufacturing, has seen a number of motorhome start-ups over the last few years. One such manufacturer, Great Wall Motorhomes, exhibited a number of new models at this year’s Shanghai motor show.
Designed for the Chinese market and for those in places like Australia, Great Wall’s Wingle combines a pick-up truck chassis with a fully functioning coach-built motorhome. The result is a reasonably long wheelbase with a big, chunky cab and a fairly compact living and sleeping area. However, the pick-up is well suited to the rough roads of rural China and will be appealing to holidaymakers looking to take some time in the countryside.
Though built for the domestic market, motorhomes like these could very soon be seen on our shores and those around the world. The cheap manufacturing process means that companies like Great Wall are really able to work on a budget, and even if you factor in the price of import and extras like motorhome insurance, these compact but efficient motorhomes could make a great starter package.