By on August 10, 2020

China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group has its fingers in a lot of pies. Having purchased Volvo Cars from Ford a decade ago for $1.8 billion (a fraction of the price the Blue Oval paid), the brand has focused on scooping up troubled brands with global appeal or creating its own. In 2017, Geely purchased majority stakes in Malaysia-based Proton and UK-based Lotus Cars while attempting to turn its own Lynk & Co into a global brand.

Those are supplemental to its cadre of Asia-focused subsidiaries but no less important to its broader aspirations.

Geely has been exceptionally clear that its ultimate goal is to increase its presence around the world while improving its production capabilities. Its latest strategy involves utilizing new platforms developed for Volvo (which was already sharing architecture with Lynk) for vehicles manufactured in Asia under the Proton banner.

Reporting from Reuters suggests the company intends to retool factories across Asia in order to take advantage of the platforms that garnered Volvo so much favorable attention these last few years.

Senior officials and engineers working for the company told the outlet a group “Compact Modular Architecture” (CMA) opened up the door to for the quick development and manufacture of various compact designs with a familiar layout — and for much less money than was being spent before.

From Reuters:

They said CMA, along with a platform for smaller cars known as B-segment Modular Architecture (BMA) that Geely plans to roll out for Proton, allow them to harness the Swedish automaker’s technologies and Geely’s capabilities in cost control, supply chain management and local production.

“CMA will be the core of Geely’s future architecture design … We learn technologies and build up talents through developing it,” said Li Li, vice president at Geely Automobile Research Institute, confirming the Proton plan during an interview in Ningbo, south of Shanghai. Li declined to disclose details of general investment, financial targets or a timetable for expansion plans.

From its lowly foundation in 1986 in Taizhou on the east coast as a maker of refrigerator parts, Geely has grown into one of the biggest players in China, the world’s largest auto market accounting for nearly one in every three passenger cars sold around the planet. Geely now sells more than 2 million cars a year across all brands, ranking it not far from the world’s top 10 automakers by unit sales.

Geely also wants to break into Western markets, specifically the United States. However, political tensions between Washington and the Chinese Communist Party, sparked by that entity’s routine involvement in all aspects of business, has made that task exceedingly difficult for all Chinese-based companies. China has also struggled economically for the last couple years, forcing Geely to focus more on home-grown problems. This resulted in numerous setbacks for the company, with one of the biggest being Lynk & Co’s failure to move into Western markets as planned (though Asian exports will come to Europe soon).

Despite increasing its market share dramatically over the past decade, the Chinese automotive conglomerate has now refocused on the fundamentals as demand recedes, if only to ensure it can maintain its strength during hard times and export models out of China for as little money as possible. In addition to platform sharing between its more international brands, Geely eventually wants to slot CMA-based products into every car brands it owns  basically becoming China’s answer to Volkswagen Group.

[Images: Jenson/Shutterstock]

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24 Comments on “Geely Still Reportedly Bent on World Domination...”


  • avatar
    ttiguy

    Nice headline. Fear monger much?

    No wonder why the journalistic credibility of this site (and this author) is such a joke

  • avatar
    conundrum

    Jeez, you forgot that Geely own 9.7% of Daimler (Mercedes Benz), 8.2% of Volvo Trucks, and 51.5% of the Danish Saxo Bank, not to mention the British outfit London Taxi Company, as well as Volvo Cars, Polestar, 51% of Lotus, Lynk & Co, Geeley Auto itself and 49.9% of Proton. And it’s a private company, not some CCP entity. Actually, that list leaves out a whole lot of other enterprises, too. Go to the Wikipedia Geely page.

    That Li Shufu guy knows how to leverage a renminbi or three.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    I expected the Chinese to be drafting closely behind the Koreans into the US market. It never happened. Will it ever happen?

  • avatar

    It will happen. You cannot ignore 1 billion hard working, creative and hungry for success people while overconfident Americans are busy with bringing curse of Marxism upon themselves…

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      So 1 billion people many born and raised under a communist regime, educated under the auspices of the Communist Party and governed by a ruling elite which calls itself communist are going to gain economic domination because of their creativity and hardwork.

      And the USA will lose their economic edge because a significant number of the population wish to implement social programs that exist in every other 1st world nation but which another portion of the American public considers to be ‘marxist’?

      Sorry but your logic escapes me.

      • 0 avatar
        -Nate

        ? What logic ? .

        He’s just afraid and frightened people do & say odd things….

        -Nate

      • 0 avatar
        Sceptic

        Only extremely naive would consider modern China a communist country. Communism is just a veil over the truly capitalist reality of the Middle Kingdom.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          China officially has a ‘socialist market economy’. The Chinese Communist Party exerts strict controls. A significant percentage of large Chinese corporations specifically recognize their ties to or affiliation with the Party. The Party places strict restrictions on foreign firms operating in China. There are of course allegations of ‘currency manipulation. Finally there is no ‘rule of law’. Entrepreneurs/business people can be jailed at the whim of the Party and/or be stripped of their ownership or have their operations closed down.

          So not a ‘capitalist’ system or a ‘free market’ system. And a great many Americans would regard such a system as ‘communist’.

          • 0 avatar
            Sceptic

            There are fewer regulations on business in China than there are in the West. And there examples too many to mention of American companies deeply involved in government politics.
            Your argument can be applied to the USA just as well as China. Just say TikTok :)
            Arthur, you are living in the past. Today’s not the 60’s. China is not Mao’s China anymore.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @Sceptic. your suppositions are incorrect. Chinese corporations act as part of China’s foreign policy. Their activities can be curtailed at any time or their ownership changed.

            Witness the arrest just this week of a well known Hong Kong billionaire at his office by approximately 200 police officers. A show of strength by the Chinese government.

            The American government is arguing this in its case for the extradition of the daughter of the founder of Huawei.

            What you are referencing are environmental, health and safety and employment practices. As long as these organizations are working towards the government’s policies they can generally operate with little regard to these.

            The economic policies and activities of China are still under state constraint/control to a degree far greater than in any western nation, where the rule of law exists.

      • 0 avatar
        indi500fan

        As a wise fellow (can’t remember his name) once said on CNBC..

        China has central planning by scientists, mathematicians, and engineers, and the US has central planning by lawyers. Neither is good, but by definition they win.

    • 0 avatar
      MeJ

      @Inside…
      That’s moronic. I’m not American but the US is the country that innovates while the Chinese steal and mimic sub par products. They have zero interest in creating, only copying.

      • 0 avatar

        Innovation comes from immigrants. Americans meanwhile are looting and burning cities and defunding police. Now I have to buy a gun to protect myself. Civilized society should not work this way.

        • 0 avatar
          el scotto

          Bill Murray in Stipes: “We’re Americans! We were kicked out of every decent country in the world.”

        • 0 avatar
          el scotto

          For all the acquisitions talk; the extended Ford family, related to Crazy Henry still controls Ford. Next use your Google machine to find out how many shares outstanding GM and Ford have. Multiply shares outstanding by share price. X percentage of shares equals a board seat is NOT the same as taking control. When the Chinese/Indians/Beetlegusians gain a 51% control of the company they still have to answer to the 49%. None of these actions will be cheap. I could be wrong, some oligarch could be bat guano crazy about Corvettes and Suburbans.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          @Inside: your sign in name is correct as you are looking in the wrong direction. Since 2002 the vast majority of deaths related to domestic violence have been perpetrated by the right wing, not the left.

          We have a BLM movement in Canada but urban dwellers are not running out in fear and purchasing handguns.

          The rest of the ‘free world’ have found ways to control COVID infections and mass shootings, but the USA still refuses to admit that it is looking at the wrong answers.

          • 0 avatar
            -Nate

            There you go again ;

            Using the facts and truth .

            Will you ever learn Arthur ? .

            Just to – day I was called a communist because I’m too honest .

            Go figure .

            -Nate

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Very interesting .

    Looks like they’re going to try to be like GM was long long ago .

    If they can make vehicles people want to buy in decent quality for fair prices, they’ll prolly do O.K. .

    ‘A vehicle for every purse & purpose’ .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Eventually Geely could end up owning either GM or Ford. Mismanagement at GM and Ford could lead to either being acquired by a Chinese or Indian corporation.

    • 0 avatar
      Rocket

      The right acquisition could be the key, but it’s unlikely it will be Ford or GM. Our government has the ability to block such mergers/acquisitions if deemed a security risk. Since automakers are often called upon in times of emergency (COVID) or war, it seems unlikely any administration would allow the Chinese to have that kind of control over a critical American industry.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Agree about the right acquisition. Under the current political climate there would not be any merger or buyout by a Chinese corporation of Ford or GM but that could change in the future. Not that I want that to happen but the way GM and Ford are both operated with their current board and CEOs makes me skeptical of their long term survival. I agree with cutting slow selling models but I am concerned that cost cutting at the expensive of quality and too much investment in autonomous and EVs does not inspire confidence especially the CEOs. There could be some additional selling off of brands and further shrinking of Ford and GMs market in other countries and this is where a Chinese or Indian corporation could step in and buy those brands. Maybe it would not be a bad move to sell off brands like Buick, Cadillac, and Lincoln but it would be a mistake for FCA to sell off Jeep and Ram. We will see what happens but it would not be a surprise if both GM and Ford do some more downsizing over the next few years.

  • avatar
    CBXweb

    I doubt their 140HP SUVs will put American butts in the seats

  • avatar
    CKNSLS Sierra SLT

    CBXweb-
    You do understand with your comment you are totally underestimating the Chinese? If/when models come over here-there will be bigger motors and/or turbo-chargers.

    They know the mistakes the Koreans made-and I got a feeling they are not going to make the same ones.

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