Great Wall Motor (GWM), the company who markets the Ora Funky Cat in Europe, has announced a new brand approach for the region, including Ireland, which will see the electric city car get a new name.

Caroline travelled to Rome with GWM Ora Ireland to find out more and preview other GWM models that may make their way here in the future.

The GWM Ora 07 and the Ora 03
The GWM Ora 07 and the Ora 03

What’s the news?

The Ora Funky Cat is no more! After just one year on sale in the Irish market, this model will be known as the GWM Ora 03 (pronounced ‘oh-3’) from the beginning of 2024.

It’s part of a new strategy by GWM to adopt a ‘master brand approach’ to create a stronger and more recognisable brand in Europe. It will also make the selling of the vehicles simpler and more efficient for dealers and distribution partners.

Ora will now become a product line of GWM.

Who are GWM? 

Great Wall Motor (GWM) is a Chinese multibrand carmaker founded in 1984. Along with Ora, it also owns Wey, Haval, Tank and GWM Pick-up. In China, GWM is the market leader for premium SUVs.

The company also has strategic partnerships with brands such as Bosch and BMW. The new electric Mini was developed from a partnership with GWM and it will be built in China in a shared factory between the two brands.

GWM first began to export vehicles in 1997 and was one of the first Chinese carmakers to sell vehicles outside China. Today, GWM has a presence in South Africa, Australia, Central and South America, South Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

The company entered the European market in 2022. Ireland was one of the first European countries to introduce Ora, along with the UK, Germany, and Sweden. There are plans for GWM to expand in 2024 into more countries including Italy, Spain, Portugal and Belgium.

The company sold over 1 million vehicles globally in 2022.

The GWM Ora 03 GT
The GWM Ora 03 GT

GWM Ora in Ireland

In Ireland, GWM Ora is distributed by the IM Group, who also import Subaru.

Ora has five dealerships in Ireland including Cork, Dublin and Waterford, with more planned.

What is the GWM Ora 03?

From January, the Ora Funky Cat will be known as the GWM Ora 03. Current pricing starts from €29,995 for the 300 PRO with a range up to 310 kilometres (WLTP). The 400 PRO currently starts from about €37,995 with a range of up to 420 kilometres (WLTP).

At the launch in Rome, we got to look at the Ora 03 GT, which adds a sporty styling pack but no increase in power. This model uses the same 63kWh battery as the 400 PRO, with a range of up to 400 kilometres (WLTP) in this spec. It gets 18-inch alloy wheels with a red insert, sportier bumpers with larger inlays and diffuser effect at the rear, GT etched in red in the roof spoiler, and a special bi-tone black and red interior with GT embossed in red in the headrests. It’s also available in an exclusive colour for the 03 GT, Meteorite Grey.

What’s next for GWM Ora in Ireland?

The next model to arrive here will be the GWM Ora 07 (‘oh-7’), an electric sports saloon with a range in the region of 522 kilometres (WLTP). It’s a bigger car than the Ora 03 and is expected to arrive in Ireland next summer. It will rival models like the Tesla Model 3 and the BYD Seal.

GWM Wey could be marketed in Ireland in the future - but it's several years away
GWM Wey could be marketed in Ireland in the future – but it’s several years away

Any other new models planned? 

In 2025, a new GWM Ora SUV is expected to go on sale. Details are scarce but the new electric compact SUV will be built on the same platform as the Ora 03.

Any plans to bring GWM Wey to Ireland?

At the event in Rome we had the opportunity to drive the GWM Wey 03, which is a compact SUV that rivals the likes of the Volkswagen Tiguan and Kia Sportage. It’s a plug-in hybrid and the version we tested had an incredible electric driving range of 136 kilometres, which is one of the longest ranges of any plug-in hybrid on sale! It’s available in Germany, and Sweden soon. However during the event, Thiemo Jahnke, Brand and Marketing Director at GWM, confirmed that the Wey 03 would not be made in right hand drive – though future generations might.

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Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes, Juror for Irish Car of the Year