Geely Has Apparently Decided to Rip Off the Design of the BMW X4 for its New Volvo XC40-Based Crossover Coupe
China has been known for putting out some outrageous knock-offs over the years. BMW seems to be a favorite of Chinese carmakers that can’t quite get around designing a car on their own. Geely seems to continue the trend in a more subtle manner with their latest crossover, the FY11.
No, this is not the facelifted BMW X4 or its big brother, the X6. This is, in fact, what Geely calls its most driver-focused car yet. It’s a coupe-bodied crossover, so the statement in itself is dubious, but it’s not as dubious as the variety of styling cues that basically tell us one thing: Geely’s designers watched too many BMW promotional videos before getting to the task of penning the FY11. It’s underpinned by the same platform as the XC40 from Volvo, and it will be followed by an all-electric sedan and an MPV as Geely looks to extend its range further.
Geely To Collaborate With CATL To Manufacture Batteries For EVs
The auto industry is moving towards an EV-olution, and all automakers have taken part in the rat race to gain a lead. While smaller automakers are outsourcing the batteries, bigger players are getting into production themselves. Geely’s subsidiary, Zhejiang Jirun Automobile, will collaborate along with Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd. (CATL) in a joint venture to set up a battery-manufacturing plant.
Geely Partners With Chinese Aerospace Company to Build Supersonic Trains
In an effort to create an all-new transportation system, Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group partnered with China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp (CASIC). This way, the companies will double their efforts to develop supersonic trains.
If Elon Musk and Hyperloop come to your mind now, you are right. Geely and state-owned CASIC are looking to develop and build supersonic trains that can travel up to speeds of 620 mph. It is a system that, at least in writing, reminds us a lot of the Elon Musk proposed Hyperloop.
Geely Wants Lotus To Start Playing With The Big Boys
Geely’s plans for Lotus includes bringing the once-proud British sports car brand back to relevancy. But a new report from Automotive News Europe reveals that the Chinese auto giant now has bigger plans for its new acquisition, specifically increasing its stake in Lotus with a fresh $1.9 billion investment. If Geely’s plans come to fruition, it could up its stake in Lotus from 51 percent to a more significant ownership percentage. Doing so would cut into the shares of Malaysia’s Erika Automotive, which currently owns 49 percent of Lotus.
Geely Had Eyes For BMW Before Buying Daimler Stock
Geely’s purchase of $9 billion in Daimler shares made it the biggest shareholder in the German automaker. But before Geely chairman and founder Li Shufu rose to become the largest single shareholder at Mercedes-Benz, he apparently had his eyes on the German automaker’s biggest rival, BMW. A report from German news outlet Spiegel revealed that Geely was actually in talks with Bimmer executives. According to the report, Geely promised BMW better access to the Chinese market in exchange for co-operative sharing of electric car technology between the two brands.
Geely to Hold Off on Acquiring More Daimler Stock... for Now
It seems that the only company that can stop Geely from conquering the auto industry is Geely itself. The Chinese car giant recently scored another blockbuster acquisition when it finalized a deal to buy 9.69 percent of Daimler, making it the largest outside shareholder of the German auto conglomerate, edging out the Kuwait Investment Authority and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, which had 6.8 and 3.1 percent, respectively. Now, it looks like Geely’s ready to slow its roll on making more acquisitions, at least for the time being.
Geely has reportedly purchased a near 10-percent stake in Daimler, a move that set the Chinese company back some €7.5 billion or $9.22 billion at exchange rates as of February 23, 2018. The move was officially confirmed by Daimler as was undertaken by the purchase of stock over the past few weeks. The move comes down after Daimler turned down Geely’s offer to Purchase a 5-percent stake for $4.5 billion.
Geely Invests in Bob Lutz’s VIA Motors and its Electric Truck Technology
Remember Bob Lutz? He’s been almost everywhere in the auto industry, spending time at BMW, Ford, and most notably, General Motors, where he spent from 2001 to 2010 in high-end management. Unfortunately for Lutz (or maybe because of), those were some tumultuous times at the General. Now post “retirement,” he’s been creating his own ventures with VLF Automotive and VIA Motors. With the latter, Lutz is acting as the chairman and helps guide the company in its mission of turning stock light- and heavy-duty vehicles into range-extended and all-electric vehicles.
As it turns out, Lutz and VIA made an impression on Geely, the Chinese automaker responsible for Volvo’s illustrious rebound into the luxury market.
Geely and VIA have agreed to co-develop a medium-duty extended range truck by using VIA’s “industry-leading proprietary vehicle software and systems control technology” while Geely offers up its Drive-e hybrid powertrain technology already in use within Volvo. The companies ambitiously suggest the range-extended truck would be available by 2019 in the U.S., Latin America, and China.
Nathan Yu Ning, Geely’s vice president of international business and executive advisor to the board, said in a company statement, “I believe that range-extended hybrid drive systems are a leading technology for the next 5-10 years and the co-developed truck will utilize proven technology such as a Volvo engine for the range extender.”
The immediate goal is for VIA to provide Geely with technological and engineering support in order to push the automaker into becoming a leader in range-extended vehicles by putting Geely trucks on North and South American roads.
So, if all goes according to plan, Americans might have an electric medium-duty commercial vehicle with a Geely, VIA, or even Volvo badge roaming around.
Geely Still Wants a Sizable Chunk of Daimler
Geely’s plan to expand faster than my waistline is coming to fruition. As if owning Volvo, establishing Lynk & Co., and acquiring a majority stake in Lotus aren’t enough, the Chinese automaker is now expected to purchase at least 6.8 percent of Mercedes-Benz’s parent company, Daimler. The transaction will make Geely the company’s largest shareholder, edging out the Kuwait Investment Authority and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, which controls 6.8 percent and 3.1 percent of Daimler, respectively.
Geely Buys $3.3B Stake In Volvo’s Truck Line
Zhejiang Geely, the Chinese automaker best known in the West for its ownership of Volvo and its recent acquisition of Lotus, has just purchased an 8.2-percent stake in AB Volvo for an estimated $3.3 billion U.S. dollars. Though it appears a small stake, the 8.2-percent makes Geely the largest shareholder of AB Volvo and the second largest by voting rights, just behind the investment firm Industrivarden. This puts Geely in a power position over both Volvo cars and AB Volvo’s commercial truck and bus business. A Geely spokesperson said the company has no intention of reuniting the two Volvo divisions, which had separated in 1999. Geely purchased the stage from the investment firm Cevian Capital.
“Given our experience with Volvo Car Group, we recognize and value the proud Scandinavian history and culture, leading market positions, breakthrough technologies and environmental capabilities of AB Volvo,” Geely Holding Chairman Li Shufu told Reuters in a statement in late December 2017.
Geely’s purchase also means it now controls AB Volvo’s 45-percent stake in Dongfeng Commercial Vehicles, a large player in China’s commercial truck market. Interestingly, Geely is also working to buy a three to five percent stake in Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz and Smart, worth an estimated $4,7 billion. Not only does Mercedes have its massive consumer-based vehicles, but also its commercial arm that builds a wide range of light- to heavy-duty vehicles. That would put Geely in an authoritative position in the commercial trucking industry.
Geely Looking To Acquire Daimler AG Stock
Geely is plucking assets left and right. First, it was Volvo. Then it turned its attention to Lynk & Co, the London Taxi Company, and, most recently, Lotus. Now it looks like the Chinese auto conglomerate is looking to dip its hands into one of the world’s most prestigious auto brands. A report from China Central Television revealed that Geely is looking to acquire a small take in Daimler AG, the parent company of a certain German automaker that calls itself Mercedes-Benz.
Here’s What A Lotus Acquisition Could Mean For Geely And Its Sub-Brands
Geely’s acquisition of Lotus sent some shockwaves to the auto industry for good reason. The Chinese automaker has been pushing aggressively for Western expansion in recent years, having acquired Volvo back in 2010. It’s done incredible work on that front and the results have been impressive. Volvo, dormant for so long, has become a luxury brand to be reckoned with once again and there doesn’t appear to be any signs of the Swedish company slowing down anytime soon. What Geely has done for Volvo is one of the big reasons why the Chinese automaker’s recent purchase of a majority stake in Lotus is being treated with a lot of optimism, and rightfully so.
Now I’m not about to go into overdrive on the hyperbole, but I do think that this transaction will yield a lot of positive results for both Geely and Lotus. Volvo could even benefit from it, and while we’re at it, let’s not forget about Geely’s new start-up electric car company, Lynk and Co. There’s plenty of room for growth for all these companies now that they’ll effectively under one umbrella. The objective now is to look at the possible benefits that each of these companies stand to gain.
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Lotus Finally Gets A New Owner!
For the longest time, Lotus seemed like the most under-utilized car company in the industry. At the very least, it ranks high on the list of automakers that have failed to live up to its potential. Fortunately, things are now taking a turn for the better for the beleaguered British automaker as Hong Kong-based automaker Geely acquires a 51-percent share in Lotus from its parent company, Proton.
In addition to the 51-percent stake in Lotus, Geely is also acquiring a 49.9 percent stake in Proton itself from the company’s parent firm, Malaysian conglomerate DRB-Hicom. The movement of all these chess pieces means Lotus is free from its struggling past ownership and under the watchful eye of Geely, the fledgling Chinese automaker responsible for reviving Volvo. Geely’s assumed goal to do the same for Lotus, which is largely credited for introducing some of the best handling, lightweight sports cars back in its heyday. It’s been a while since Lotus was a relevant name in the auto industry, but with Geely now in charge, there’s a lot of optimism in the air.
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Geely to Use Volvo’s CMA Platform for New Car Brand
Lynk & Co. will make its highly anticipated launch on October 20, 2016, but as early as now, we’re already getting some details on what we can expect from Geely’s new car brand. One particularly useful nugget of information comes by way of Reuters, which is reporting that the new car brand’s models will be using Volvo’s compact modular architecture (CMA), the smaller offshoot platform that Volvo developed to complement the bigger SPA platform used on the XC90, S90, and V90 models.
The report ties up with the widely-known belief that Volvo’s new platforms will also be used by Geely and its other brands. Geely, after all, owns all of these companies, including China Euro Vehicle Technology (CEVT), the company that helped Volvo develop the platform. So from an economics standpoint, it makes sense for Geely to maximize the use of the new platform. It’s still unclear what kind of models Lynk & Co. plans to build, but a separate report from Automotive News indicates that Lynk & Co. will go the route of a sedan and SUV first with both models to be offered in the middle class market where rivals like General Motors and SAIC Motor Corp. are also in. Geely’s objective is to promote its own cars to compete against local rivals in China with Volvo tackling the premium market.
As expected, China will be the first market to get a hold of these models when they become available with other regions, including the U.S. and Europe, expected to follow suit at a later date. In any case, more details are expected to arrive when the brand officially launches on Thursday, October 20, 2016.
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Geely Set To Launch New Lynk & Co. Auto Brand
Chinese auto giant Geely is preparing to take the hybrid and plug-in hybrids by storm when it launches Lynk & Co., its first full-scale global auto brand. Described as an “affordable premium brand,” Lynk & Co. is going to be positioned as a fresh alternative to the growing market of high-mobility brands led by Tesla.
Details behind the company are likely to be announced when the brand is launched on October 20, 2016, but it is expected to focus its attention on being an industry leader in mobility, hybrid technology, and down the road, electrification. The objective, it seems, is to not only offer its future models in the U.S. and Europe, but to actually become as big a player as Tesla.
It’s an ambitious goal, but from at least one aspect, Lynk & Co. has the advantage of having a company like Geely backing it up. Money is unlikely to be an issue as the new brand gets off the ground. Same with resources and manpower since Geely operates large facilities in China and Sweden and can tap Volvo’s own engineers and their industry know-how to build and develop its models.
Then again, the new brand will no doubt face its own challenges, not the least of which is the automatic burden of convincing customers to buy into what it’s selling. In any event, we should get more details about Lynk & Co. when Geely officially launches the brand later this month.
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Bloodhound Project Saved By Geely
In case you were unaware, the Bloodhound SSC is a British-made supersonic land speed record vehicle designed to reach a top speed of 1,000 mph. The project has been in development since 2008, but ran into financial problems recently that sidelined the vehicle’s construction. Luckily, it was just announced that Geely, China’s largest privately owned auto group, has stepped in to help the Bloodhound Project move forward with some much-needed monetary assistance.
Geely and the Bloodhound Project signed the new three-year deal back in August, making Geely the project’s primary automotive sponsor. In addition to contributing funds, the Chinese company has also pledged design and engineering support, additional chase vehicles, project promotion throughout Asia, and educational efforts in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in classrooms around the world. It’s the biggest deal in the Bloodhound Project’s history.
With Geely’s support now secured, the Bloodhound SSC will attempt to break the current land speed record with an 800-mph run in 2017. If all goes according to plan, the team will shoot for 1,000 mph in 2018.
Other project supporters include Rolls-Royce, Castrol, Rolex, Lockheed Martin, and Jaguar.
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Toole County, Utah commissioners made a surprise announcement on Tuesday, that Miller Motorsports Park has been sold to Chinese company Mitime Investment and Development group for $20 million. You may not have heard of Mitime, but you’ve probably heard of its parent company, Geely, which is China’s largest car company and current owner of Volvo.
Originally constructed in 2006 by Salt Lake City billionaire and Utah Jazz owner Larry H. Miller, the track was left to Toole County in 2014 after the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies (Miller passed away in 2009) decided not to renew its lease on the property. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, county commissioners opted to sell the track rather than shut it down.
That being the case, all track operations will continue as they were and all 90 employees at Miller Motorsports Park will keep their jobs. The 23-turn, 4.48-mile track currently hosts several sports car races, including a round of the Pirelli World Challenge, and motorcycle races. Its also home to the Ford Performance Racing School and formerly hosted rounds of the American Le Mans Series.
MMP’s new owners also a have a few updates and additions in mind. Both an oval test track and drag strip are planned, as well as a new hotel that will house Geely drivers, mechanics, and any other personnel with business at the track.
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Brand-new for the 2014 model year, the Geely MK-Cross is an entry-level crossover built on the same platform as the MK sedan and hatchback. Despite sharing underpinnings and most of its styling cues with the said automobile, which has soldiered on essentially unchanged since 2006, the MK-Cross sports a more modern design, a revised interior, and options otherwise not available with the MK. It comes with standard airbags — quite the novelty for Chinese cars — and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Its Chinese sticker would make it the cheapest production vehicle in the United States, even if it were to receive a host of additional upgrades to enable it to pass the NHTSA’s demanding safety tests. However, does it have what it takes to make an impact in one of the world’s largest crossover markets with stiff competition from Japanese manufacturers known for their reliability and safety? Keep reading to find out.
Click past the jump to read more about Geely MK-Cross.
Geely introduced the MK in 2006 as a compact sedan slotted above the CK, which arrived a year earlier. Much like the CK, the MK remained largely unchanged since its launch, featuring the same styling cues inside and out for the 2014 model year. Sold in various Asian and Eastern European markets, as well as in Australia and New Zealand, the compact sedan is motivated by a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder powerplant shared with a host of other Geely products.
As Geely is considering bringing its cars and crossovers to the United States in the near future, we decided to have a closer look at the company’s current lineup. This time around is the MK’s turn to join these TopSpeed pages in a review that analyzes the potential of such a vehicle for the North American market. Read on to find out what the Geely MK is all about and whether or not it has what it takes to compete in one of America’s most crowded markets.
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The Geely GC2 is a hi-speced hatchback based on the LC, a compact five-door the Chinese automaker introduced in 2009. Recognizable for its unique exterior design, which the company describes as "bionic" and resembles a panda bear up front, the GC2 has been launched in several markets around the world as of 2014, including South America, Indonesia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Three different engines are available with the GC2, all sourced from the LC, along with a choice of two transmissions, including a manual and an automatic. The GC2 is also famous for becoming China’s first locally developed compact car to be awarded a five-star safety rating. It is also was named the safest Chinese hatchback in 2011.
Although the GC2 has yet to reach U.S. shores, Geely’s plans to brings some of its models to North America makes the little hatch a possible candidate for U.S. showrooms. But is the GC2 good enough to go against similar products from Ford or Honda? And will it have what it takes to pass America’s challenging safety tests? Read on to find out the answers to these questions.
Click past the jump to read more about Geely GC2.