Australia seems to be one of the first Western markets in Geely’s sights for its world expansion plans, it was rumored for a long time that Geely were planning to buy the mothballed Mitsubishi factory in Adelaide, but it seems that plan never took off and Geely instead bought the Australian owned DSI transmissions to fulfill Geely’s technology dream, the factory was then later dismantled by a Chinese company.
Geely’s Panda will be on of the first Geely cars to hit Aussie shores, although due Fiat owning the Panda name in pretty much every Western market the Geely Panda will become the Geely LC down under. The good news is that Geely Australia will be managed by the same company that took Hyundai to new heights in Australia.
The appeal of launching in Australia is quite enticing for Chinese car makers, the Australian market is a fairly small market but it does give them a first taste of what they can expect when they reach American or European shores and can essentially form part of their test bed for their worldwide expansion. Greatwall have already entered into the Australian market and appear to be gaining good sales so far.
From the Rouse Hill Times
Launching an unknown brand in Australia’s overpopulated car market is a risky venture for any company. For an individual, it’s virtually beyond belief.But Perth motor magnate John Hughes is doing just that with a Chinese brand called Geely (say it: ‘jee-lee’), and he has the reputation and track record to make it a household name.
He is largely credited with propelling Hyundai to success and the respected multi-franchise car dealer thinks Geely has the makings of another winner.
“Let’s say we’re hopeful about that,” he said.
The first model is now on sale at John Hughes Geely at the group’s Victoria Park headquarters.
It’s called the MK and is a 1.5-litre, 70kW four-cylinder sedan with manual transmission. It has airconditioning, dual airbags, remote central locking, alloy wheels, power windows and comes with a five-year warranty. And it sells for $11,990 drive-away. He has 100 of them in stock.
Arriving about mid-year will be the LC, a cute 1.3-litre city car, known as a Panda in some markets. “It will have to be called something else here because Fiat owns the Panda name,” Mr Hughes said. It will be followed by the CE, an update of the MK, which, like the LC, will have stability control and the option of automatic transmission. A stylish and bigger EC7, also called the Emgrand, will arrive towards year-end. It will have a 1.8-litre petrol engine and continuously variable transmission. Mr Hughes said the MK would be sold only in WA because it did not have electronic stability control or auto transmission, which would limit its appeal. “But those features are standard on the LC, the CE and the EC7, all of which will be sold nationally.”