gwm m4 rollout 1

Great Wall Motor assembler Go Auto has announced that CKD production of the Great Wall M4 SUV has begun – the first locally-assembled unit of the compact SUV rolled off its Gurun line last week.

Despite earlier indication that the manual transmission version would be dropped with the advent of CKD production, it looks that the variant is very much part of the local-assembly plan – the CKD M4 MT is mentioned as being “available from now.”

Initial production of the automatic, is set to begin at the end of January, though this will be on a small-scale – full production begins in March next year. The auto version of the M4 is called the AMT, utilsing a six-speed manual transmission with automated clutch operation (the Getrag 6AMT160).

The company said the CKD M4 is due to be officially launched sometime in the first quarter of next year. It added that the Gurun production line is now capable of manufacturing 24,000 units annually, essentially bringing forward the planned expansion to the plant’s existing build capacity of 10,000 units a year.

gwm m4 rollout 2

First previewed in left-hand drive form in January, the M4 was initially launched in its fully-imported form in July. In August, on-the-road pricing was revealed, with six variants of the SUV listed on sale, these being three manuals and three automatics, in Standard, Comfort and Premium trim levels each.

The front-wheel drive M4 is powered by a normally-aspirated 1.5 litre VVT MPI four-pot offering 105 hp at 6,000 rpm and 138 Nm at 4,200 rpm. Standard equipment across the line-up includes four disc brakes, ABS and EBD with brake assist, powered windows all-around, steering wheel audio controls, manual four-way adjustment front seats, dual airbags and front/rear foglights.

Higher spec models are set to get items such as auto air-conditioning, a reverse camera and leather seats. Back then, it was reported that the CKD auto variant would feature ESP in the mix, but this has not been confirmed as yet, nor has pricing of the CKD variants.

UPDATE: The company has informed us that the CKD versions will follow the pricing that was introduced for the CBU units, until further notice.

Pricing for the CBU fully-imported versions ranged from RM46,990 for the Standard to RM56,990 for the Premium in manual form, while the auto versions went from RM48,990 for the Standard right up to RM59,990 for the Premium.