Chinese car maker Geely is planning to sell vehicles co-developed with Volvo outside of its home market and into Europe and the US.
Industry journal Automotive News Europe reports Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. Ltd, which purchased Volvo from Ford in 2010 and announced only last week that it will sell the jointly developed cars in China from 2015, is set to expand sales of the vehicles into overseas markets.
According to the report, the plan to export the Volvo-developed models from China to Europe and the US comes straight from Geely CEO Gui Sheng Yue.
“Our acquisition of Volvo enhanced our image and overseas consumers are seeing us as an international company,” Gui said.
“Our deliveries in the US and Europe will be banking on those jointly developed models.”
The brand head said the company is aiming to have as much as 60 per cent of its sales come from overseas by 2018. This year, those same markets are expected to account for up to 180,000 units.
In December 2011, Geely announced plans to start selling its Emgrand EC7 (pictured above) in the UK, in both four-door sedan and five-door hatchback body styles, from around £10,000 ($17,300) by the end of 2012. To date, the model is still yet to have launched.
Intended to be sold under the banner of Geely Auto UK – a subsidiary of Manganese Bronze Holdings Ltd which was bought-out by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. Ltd in February – the brand would have joined fellow Chinese-owned company MG Motor in the market.
The expansion plans may appear to be a positive for the Chinese manufacturer, however, the brand has been cautious in the past of tainting the Swedish marque’s image in the process.
In 2010, the Hangzhou-based company’s vice president for international operations, Freeman Shen, said Geely wanted to be careful not to damage the Volvo brand as a result of the takeover.
“We don’t want the image of a luxury car made in a third world country,” Shen said.
“We want the image of a European luxury car, albeit owned by a Chinese owner.”
Having shifted 263,544 units globally in the first six months of 2013, Geely is targeting a total global sales figure of 560,000 units for the year. The car maker also says it will add a new SUV to its Chinese-market line-up from next year in a bid to tackle the popular segment.