Ora Funky CatOra Funky Cat


GWM Ora expands dealer network with Charles Hurst, Chorley Group and City West Country

  • Three new dealers join Lookers, Wessex Garages and Peter Vardy as part of GWM Ora’s UK network
  • Next step in Chinese brand’s plans to reach 16 dealers by end of the year
  • Only car GWM Ora currently offers is Funky Cat First Edition

Time 1:59 pm, February 6, 2023

Chinese brand GWM Ora has appointed three new dealers as it continues to grow its UK footprint.

Chorley Group, Charles Hurst Group and City West Country join Lookers, Wessex Garages and Peter Vardy which partnered with the company last year.

Lookers-owned Charles Hurst will open its GWM Ora franchise at its 40-acre site on Boucher Road, Belfast, on March 6.

Opening one week later will be Chorley Group at its Chorley site on March 13, followed by City West Country’s Exeter site on March 24.

Along with the news, GWM Ora UK also announced these three new dealers would also open new service centres in Blackpool, Burnley, Wigan, Bolton, Plymouth and Truro.

The firm also said the initial partners – Lookers, Wessex Garages and Peter Vardy – will soon be opening service centres in Cardiff, Dundee, Edinburgh, Gloucester, Kirkcaldy, Motherwell and Perth.

The three new dealer appointments are part of ambitious plans to appoint one dealer a month during 2023.

GWM Ora Charles Hurst Belfast

CGI image of Charles Hurst’s Belfast showroom

GWM Ora UK told Car Dealer in November 2022 that it plans to have a total of 16 dealers by the end of this year.

It intends to have a ‘hub and spoke’ make-up to its network, with ‘hubs’ offering sales and service, and more numerous ‘spokes’ offering aftersales.

CGI images of the three new dealers show a uniform look as shared with Lookers’, Wessex Garages’ and Peter Vardy’s showrooms.

The dealerships will have ‘friendly, warm and welcoming’ decor, furniture and fittings, the firm’s UK sales and marketing director, Toby Marshall told Car Dealer in November.

Ora UK currently only has one car on offer – the pure-electric Funky Cat, available initially in high-spec ‘First Edition’ guise.

It costs £31,995, comes with a 48kWh battery and a 193-mile range, and rivals the MG 4 and Volkswagen ID.3.

More versions are expected to be launched in the UK during 2023, including a GT model.

By the end of 2023, it’s believed GWM Ora will also launch an electric four-door coupe-saloon.

Commenting on the three new appointments, Marshall said: ‘As we scale the GWM Ora brand in the UK, it is vital that we have the right infrastructure in place to give customers a quality brand experience.

‘We are delighted to partner with Chorley Group, Charles Hurst Group and City West Country who will be a fantastic addition to our network of retailers, providing a premium service to customers.’

Great Wall Motor (GWM) was founded in 1984 and is the market leader in domestic market for luxury SUVs.

It has a joint venture with BMW and Ora is its electric-only brand.

It’s the second time the company has arrived on UK shores, via IM Group.

Chinese brand GWM Ora ‘believes’ in dealers and plans to appoint a dozen more retailers in next 12 months

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James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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