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 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.
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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