Guide to Haval in South Africa

Spawned out of GWM, the SUV marque started life as a model designation – although longtime South African Chinese automotive fans would be more familiar with the "Hover" name for the early GWM offerings. In the rest of the world, the GWM Hover turned into the Haval H5, transforming the company's fortunes enough to warrant a separate, standalone brand in 2013.

Haval has since swept the South African market with a strategy that bundles in a ton of value at an affordable sticker price. This success was built in the compact SUV space with the conservative stylings of the H1 and H2, before unleashing bolder features after a brand overhaul at the end of the decade.

Leading the pack in the new Haval identity is the handsome Jolion, which has seen the Chinese importer cement itself in Naamsa's top ten best-selling cars in South Africa.

All models are manufactured and imported from China and can be subject to small price fluctuations in line with exchange rates. Haval is now a full reporting Naamsa member with impressive sales figures throughout the first half of 2022 driven by the positive market reception of the Jolion. The brand is now a permanent resident of the top 10 vehicles sold in SA, with a healthy market share.

A Brief History of Haval

Haval emerged as GWM's vehicle to capitalise on the SUV boom of the early 2000s, with the company mostly retooling its bakkie production skills for closed-cab passenger vehicles. As increasing consumer demand and rapid quality improvements from other Asian vendors created a need for a more focused approach, the brand was spun out as its own entity.

A high-profile launch (with a customary entry into the Dakar Rally) rocketed Haval sales to one million global units by the close of 2013. While subsequent vehicle sales have stabilised around that early high, Haval has built a reputation for its ruthless pursuit of quality. It regularly discontinues models that it feels do not meet the desired standard.

Side view of a grey 2011 Haval H3 on the road.
Side front view of the Haval H7 in a showroom.

Buying a Haval

Search the web for Haval and you'll find it nestled within the GWM site, a feature that is mirrored in the physical world with the brands sharing space at 66 brick-and-mortar dealerships across South Africa. Model brochures are plagued with the quirks of English direct translations, but this is not a reflection of the high-quality workmanship and proven reliability of the actual vehicles.

Haval models in South Africa

The locally available range has been trimmed down to three models that service unique audiences.

Haval Jolion

Crossover SUV

From R327 400

Haval H6

Compact SUV

From R455 200

Haval H9

Mid-size SUV

From R699 900


That means that the popular H2 is no longer being produced as it's been replaced by the Jolion. However, you can buy it in the second-hand market, of course, if you're still a fan of the sleek crossover SUV that used to come in cheaper than its replacement.

Despite the increase, the Jolion leads the sales figures with its combination of handsome styling and aggressive pricing proving irresistible for the suburban South African. It shares the L.E.M.O.N architecture (a new lightweight platform build from Haval) with the third-generation H6 and these two vehicles form the platform for Haval's hybrid future.

Read more about these Haval Models: Haval H6 and Haval Jolion.

Haval Warranty

All Haval models are covered by a five-year/100 000 km manufacturer warranty with an advised servicing schedule of 15 000 km or every 12 months. Terms and conditions allow owners a one-month or 1 500 km grace period beyond the recommended service interval to remain covered.

Roadside Assistance is also offered with a full range of features including battery services and standby support from ADT.

While right-to-repair regulations allow customers to perform regular maintenance at a registered workshop of their choice, wording in the Haval warranty does imply that crucial software updates can only be done at authorised service centers and the brand recommends its own five-year/60 000 km plan – which can be upgraded.

Top view of a red and black Haval H2 on the road.
Front side view of a grey Haval H6.

Haval Insurance

Spare parts are held in stock at the GWM warehouse in Durban. The AA rates the Haval spare parts pricing as reasonable, with the full spares basket for a Jolion costing just over a third of the initial purchase price. Modest car vehicle replacement costs also help keep the cost of comprehensive insurance relatively low.

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This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, legal or medical advice.