GEELY'S FUTURE

Geely products soon to boast Volvo technology

volvo geely.jpg

Geely products will soon boast new Volvo technology that will also be available in future models for the South African market.

Addressing Chinese media about its Volvo subsidiary recently, Geely Chairman Li Sufu said the company is serious about the future of Volvo and Geely as two separate brands, but sharing research, development and technology.

"Geely and Volvo are like brothers, not father and son," said Li. He also wants relations between Geely and Volvo Cars to be like the relation between Audi and Volkswagen: they share R&D and common technologies, but have different brands and product positioning.

"We will make Volvo cars more luxurious and high-end," he said. Earlier Li emphasised that Geely's products have long outgrown the original "cheap and low quality" Chinese attributes in favour of "value for money and high quality".

Shared R&D between Volvo and Geely has already had an impact on the much higher quality of Geely vehicles .

"We are really looking forward to marketing the new models to our local customers," said Geely South Africa Marketing Manager Gareth Azzie.

Under Geely, Volvo will strive to become one of the dominant players in the luxury car sector, said Li. "The Daqing plant in Heilongjiang province is expected to roll out models including the XC90 in two months." The Chinese XC90 is not the new 2015 XC90, but the current version, and production has been moved from Sweden to China. The next model to be manufactured in Daqing will be the Volvo XC60.

"Volvo is changing to cater to the post-90s generation - young customers with high-end technology such as Apple's CarPlay infotainment system and self-driving cars." Li wants Volvo to aim at a younger audience and hopes to lure youngsters to the showroom by offering "hip" technology.

With the help of Geely, Volvo has set its Chinese sales target at 80 000 units for 2014 - a growth of 30 percent, which would make the country its largest single market surpassing the United States. It sold 61 000 cars last year - up 45.6% from a year earlier. In January to April this year sales jumped 29.1% - far above the average 10% of the whole of the industry.

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