Great Wall Motors has a filed trademark for Haval Fargo in India but launch of the Ford Bronco-inspired SUV in India remains uncertain
Entry of Great Wall Motors (GWM) in the Indian market has been put on hold primarily due to cross-border tensions between India and China since June 2020. The Chinese automaker has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Maharashtra government in May 2020 which involved an investment of USD 1 million by the company.
Great Wall Motors’ fate in India
However, since the cross-border tensions, the Maharashtra Government has put the MoU on hold thus freezing all future projects by the company. This put a question mark on the company’s future and investments in the country. However, a year later the company revised its entry strategy for the Indian market.
In May 2021, reports suggested that GWM shelved its initial plans to take on the mainstream market with a range of locally assembled or manufactured cars. It was further revealed that GWM has adopted a top-down approach that focuses on importing completely knocked-down kits (CKD) and completely built units (CBU) to the Indian market.
A month later in June 2021, the website of Haval, the primary subsidiary brand of GWM, went online in India. Meanwhile, the Chinese carmaker continues to file new trademarks under the Haval brand. The automaker recently registered a new trademark for ‘Haval Dargo’ in the country which has just come to light. According to Haval, the name ‘Dargo’ stands for “Dare to go”.
Haval Dargo: Exterior Design
Called ‘Big Dog’ in China, the exterior design of the SUV is reminiscent of the iconic Ford Bronco. However, unlike other Chinese knock-offs, the carmaker hasn’t completely ripped off the design of the American off-roader. Speaking of design, like Bronco, Dargo flaunts a very rugged styling, which is headlined by utilitarian front fascia featuring a trapezoidal grille and a muscular front bumper housing circular LED fog lamps.
The grille is flanked by round LED headlights on both sides with integrated circular LED DRL rings. Side profile of Dargo is clean and understated for most parts except for the massive wheel arches and chunky black cladding wrapped around them. Chrome embellishments around the window frame and door sills add premiumness to the overall appeal of the SUV.
Interiors & Powertrain Options
Inside the cabin, Dargo features a nice combination of minimalism and modern amenities which includes a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment display, a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, a multi-functional steering wheel and vertical air-con vents. It also gets a chunky handlebar on the passenger side of the dashboard which enhances its utilitarian characteristic.
Under the hood, Dargo comes with two engine options in international markets- a 1.5-litre turbo petrol unit and a 2.0-litre turbo petrol unit. While the former cranks out 169 bhp, the latter dishes out 211 bhp. Both power plants are offered with a 7-speed DCT automatic gearbox. It is offered in both FWD and AWD configurations.