China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. Ltd. officially joined the local automotive market Thursday with the launch of the small SUV Coolray brand.
Geely Philippines general manager for sales and marketing Froilan Dytianquin said Geely was the only privately-owned automotive company in China.
“All else are brands that are either partly or fully-owned by the Chinese government. This is why Geely has been aggressively buying automotive brands with the vision to go global,” he said.
The company acquired European luxury car company Volvo as well as London Taxi Company. It also bought Malaysia’s Proton and recently, Daimler Benz, maker of the iconic Mercedez Benz and other vehicles.
Public acceptance of the brand is crucial for Geely to bring in more models to the Philippines as it plans to introduce a model every six months until the brand develops more confidence to bring in the entire Geely brand portfolio.
“This goes to show they are investing towards making more synergies in making cars sharing platforms, technology and research. The Geely brand itself is benefitting from that given these global companies are able to utilize technology to get the team, the research and design experts and engineers, to come to Geely China to develop more products for the Geely brand,” Dytianquin said.
The Chinese company also plans to introduce the Geely hybrids, a self-sustaining vehicle that can run on a self-charging engine and fuel.
China, Dytinaquin added, was fast becoming a hybrid car nation, “which has inspired Geely to produce a hybrid variant for every Geely model created.”
The company has 100 reservations so far for the Geely Coolray, double than the initial importation batch of 50 units in the maiden launch.
“If you look at the specs, Coolray has a big advantage over other brands in similar categories in terms of pricing. And it so happened that the small SUV segment was growing fast after the TRAIN law took effect. That was our cue to bring in the model,” Dytianquin said.
Coolray, he added, was close competitor to Hyunda’s Kona, Ford’s Ecosport and Suzuki’s Grand Vitara.