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Geely heads to Europe

Chinese automotive manufacturer Geely has confirmed plans to enter the UK’s new car market, with its first models arriving at the end of 2012.

Geely International Corporation has reached agreement with the UK’s Manganese Bronze Holdings (MBH) to become their distributor for the UK for the sale of new Geely cars, the supply of parts, to establish a dealer network and to provide an after-sales service. The UK distributor operation will be known as Geely Auto UK.

MBH and Geely are already partners in building the iconic London black cabs with production for the UK taking place in Coventry by The London Taxi Company, a division of MBH, and for other global markets, vehicles are produced in China by Geely.

John Russell, CEO of MBH said, “We are all aware of the success that the Korean brands, Kia and Hyundai, have had in the UK and we can work with Geely to achieve similar success in the future.”

Matthew Cheyne, market development director of Geely Auto UK, is heading up the team responsible for the sales, marketing, dealer development and distribution of Geely vehicles in the UK. He said, “We are starting with a clean sheet of paper with the distribution of Geely passenger cars into the UK, the first major Western European country to receive them.

“We will start by importing the Geely Emgrand EC7, C/D segment sized four door saloons and five door hatchbacks, initially with 1.5 and 1.8-liter petrol engine options. But Geely has a comprehensive range of models well suited to European requirements. We will be aiming to widen our range just as quickly as possible, probably at least a new model range every year for the next four to five years.”

Cheyne added: “Geely cars are already suitable for Europe and meet EU homologation and whole vehicle type approval and of course EURO 5 emissions. They are all well equipped products but at affordable prices and will carry a five-year, 100,000 mile warranty.

“The first Emgrand EC7 models to arrive are likely to have a range starting price of approximately £10,000 and we see Geely cars being attractive purchases for retail and business user-chooser customers. At this stage we are not volume driven but we will increase our sales significantly as customers get to know our products and more models are added to the range.”

Geely Auto UK headquarters will be in Coventry sharing the same offices as The London Taxi Company.

13 December 2011


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