Saloon unveiled the Mecha Dragon at the Guangzhou auto show in November 2021, but no new developments on the all-electric sedan have been released since.

(Great Wall Motor's premium EV brand Saloon unveiled the Mecha Dragon at the November 2021 Guangzhou auto show.)

Great Wall Motor's premium electric vehicle (EV) brand Saloon fell into silence after revealing its first model in November 2021, and now a new report said that the brand will be relaunched.

Great Wall Motor plans to relaunch the Saloon brand this year, which will be integrated under the premium Wey brand, a report by local media outlet 36kr said today, citing several people familiar with the matter.

Saloon's first model, the Mecha Dragon (机甲龙), will be launched in the second half of the year as the first sedan under the Wey brand, 36kr said, citing a source.

The sedan will be built at a factory in Xushui district of Baoding, Hebei province, where Great Wall Motor is headquartered, the report said, citing another source.

Saloon unveiled the Mecha Dragon on the first day of the Guangzhou auto show on November 19, 2021, when it showed a limited edition with a starting price of RMB 488,000 ($76,400), saying only 101 units would be supplied.

One of the model's main selling points at the time was that it featured four LiDARs, which Saloon said at the time was the first in the world to do so.

After that, however, the Saloon brand fell silent and no new information was released about the model.

Rapid market changes had caused Great Wall Motor to continually revisit the positioning of the Mecha Dragon model and the Saloon brand, 36kr said, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Great Wall Motor will equip the re-launched Mecha Dragon with a smart driving solution from Momenta, and a smart cockpit solution from , according to 36kr.

Great Wall Motor is one of China's most successful local car companies, but has been slow to make the transition to electrification.

The company is internally exploring the option of setting up directly-managed stores for its new energy vehicle (NEV) models, and has begun hiring talent, local media outlet LatePost said in a January 31 report, citing several people familiar with the matter.

Great Wall Motor's five brands launched a total of 10 NEVs in 2023, but its existing dealer network is mostly located in China's lower-tier cities and non-core areas of higher-tier cities, which is not favorable to the expansion of its NEV sales, the report said.

($1 = RMB 7.1984)

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