After a journey spanning nearly 4 500km, the 2018 Haval Outreach Expedition reached its final stop in Cape Town, marking the end of an epic journey for the team.
After 15 days and ten stopovers the expedition made its way to Cape Agulhas, the southernmost point of the continent, to celebrate the completion of a very successful cross-country trip.
The six vehicles in the convoy, consisting of two Haval H9's, two Haval H6C's, a Haval H2 and GWM Steed 5E spent the last two weeks travelling from Johannesburg to Cape Town via the east coast of South Africa.
It was a gruelling trek at times, with some rough roads, challenging weather and 4x4 courses thrown into the mix. According to Charles Zhao, Managing Director of Haval Motors South Africa, "Although this journey was centred around reaching out to local communities and charities, it also served to prove that Haval can handle even the toughest local terrain."
All six vehicles faired exceptionally well along the way, and the true comfort and fantastic luxury shone through with every kilometre driven.
According to Caira-lee Durand, Digital Editor for Women on Wheels, ""As someone who's never experienced the Haval brand before, the last few days have been the perfect opportunity to get to know, not just the newly launched H9, but also some of the other models in the range too, some of which were available to test on the trip. I'm looking forward to experiencing the H2 again, a compact SUV that I think will suit our female readers who spend most of their time in the city, but who also enjoy the occasional trip up the coast, for example".
"A highlight of the trip was being able to face some challenging obstacles with the H9s during our day in the dunes at Brakkeduine. The idea of charging up a large (and very soft) sand dune in a massive, brand new 7-seater SUV, without getting stuck can be a tad intimidating to say the least, especially with everyone watching! But with a bit of confidence and some guidance from our group leader, I loved the sense of empowerment that comes with it all! Although the H9 is surprisingly luxurious inside, it is completely unpretentious when it comes to venturing off the beaten track. I hope that this means we'll see more South African SUV owners experiencing the capabilities of Haval in the future", says Durand.
In true Haval style, the end of the expedition was celebrated with great fanfare. Haval Cape Gate hosted a glamorous function at the Purple Rayn boutique hotel, and this was the first function ever held on the premises as the hotel is only due to open in November.
Customers, staff, media and friends of the brand were all in attendance, and Haval took the opportunity to make a very special handover: amidst the festivities Mr and Mrs Arendse - both longstanding Haval customers - took delivery of the brand-new Haval H9. According to Mr Arendse, "This is the fourth Haval I've owned, and it's almost impossible to describe how fond I am of this brand. Aside from their amazing vehicles, it's the exceptional aftersales service that keeps me coming back. I have owned many different vehicles in my life, but I have never received the high level of service as I have from Haval. They truly care about their customers and immediately made me feel part of the family."
In addition to receiving their new H9, Haval also gifted the Arendse's with a R10 000 fuel voucher as a token of appreciation for being such loyal customers and brand ambassadors to this fast-growing brand in South Africa.
Lawrence Minnie, Motoring Content Creator for Auto Trader, says: "Haval seems to be on track to take the fight to the large OEMs in South Africa. Public perception is slowly shifting, and those budget conscious shoppers will be looking very closely at the brand. Personally, I think Haval has got their formula right and if dealerships continue to sprout as quickly as they have, we will be seeing a lot more H1's, H2's, H6's and new H9's on our roads. As for the H9, it is a brilliant piece of engineering in its own right. It's comfortable, capable, safe and most important it is affordable. I will say this though: the local manufacturers that have had the market all to themselves had better watch this space."
As the 2018 Expedition came to a close there were many queries as to whether this popular event will be repeated next year. Although there are no details yet, the success of this years' expedition was inspiring, and it's very likely that Haval South Africa will do similar outreach expeditions in the future.