Foton's new Tunland 'utility' (pickup truck) will go on sale in Australia in 2012 through local distributor WMC Group, following Great Wall's V240 which launched there early last year, but will get a new name.

Known by the pre-production codename P201, the new pickup will mark the Australian debut of Chinese commercial vehicle manufacturer Foton in the light commercial vehicle segment, The Motor Report said.

The announcement follows earlier news the P201 would be offered globally in commercial and recreational specifications, powered by a range of Euro V-compliant petrol and diesel engines.

Australia will be among the first markets to see the new utility with launches in South Africa and the Americas to come in the following year.

The model name to be used for the new Foton ute is yet to be determined and is currently under discussion.

Unlike the slow-selling V240, the P201 will offer a more compelling package against the mostly-Japanese segment leaders - including the Toyota HiLux, the Nissan Navara and the Mitsubishi Triton.

Jason Pecotic, CEO of WMC, said the P201 had been designed from the ground-up to tackle the Japanese brands on quality and features, rather than wage a bottom-end price war with the Great Wall V240.

Great Wall is already in LHD Europe and due to launch in RHD Britain later this year through the IM Group.