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The 2016 Geely Emgrand NL-3 compact SUV has been spied testing in Melbourne, ahead of the car’s global reveal later in the year.

The Emgrand NL-3 SUV pictured here is based on the Chinese brand’s new SUV platform. It was shipped from the Pudong district of Shanghai last week, landing fresh into the hands of Australian transmission engineering and manufacturing firm DSI Holdings, according to stickers attached to its sides.

DSI Holdings was acquired by Geely in 2009 and currently builds transmissions in three factories in China for a range of Chinese vehicles, while retaining an engineering base in Australia.

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Vehicles like the Emgrand NL-3 undergo calibration and tuning in Australia by DSI and Geely engineers before the settings and changes are implemented in the factory for inclusion in the production cycle.

According to a Chinese industry source, the Emgrand NL-3 range will come with the option of naturally aspirated and turbocharged 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engines and a naturally aspirated 2.4-litre petrol engine. Each variant will come with the option of a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission — the automatic an Australian engineered DSIH unit.

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The same source suggests that the interior will feature high-end technology that includes keyless entry and start, a hydraulic park brake, 8.0-inch colour infotainment touchscreen and a suite of vehicle safety features.

Geely refused to comment on these images, confirm the car’s mere existence or even confirm whether it had plans to expand in Australia. Our understanding is that Chinese rivals will be the Haval H6 and Chery Tigo 5, both of which are not available for sale in Australia at the moment.

Likely domestic rivals were it to launch here would include the Mazda CX-5, Ford Kuga, Toyota Rav4, Volkswagen Tiguan and the Subaru Forester, among others.

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With Haval expanding into the Australian market, an expansion on the part of Geely could be on the cards, though this is mere speculation. The Geely MK small car has previously been sold in Western Australia, imported by private distributor John Hughes.

Geely builds over 400,000 cars per year and rakes in a net profit of over US$230 million (AU$289 million) per year. The Chinese manufacturer bought Swedish car company Volvo in 2010 for US$1.3 billion (AU$1.63 billion).

Click on the Photos tab to see more images of the Geely Emgrand NL-3 SUV.




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