Geely’s expansion and transformation gathers speed on enhanced tech efforts

Hangzhou-based automaker Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd has been exploring even remote parts of the domestic auto market as well as enhancing its investment pace in Southeast Asia.

Geely’s efforts are aimed at upgrading itself into a leading automotive giant. The company has grown to a carmaker whose global sales exceeded 10 million units by the end of October.

With the automobile industry worldwide undergoing profound changes and amid new trends like electric vehicles, driverless vehicles, interconnectedness, smart control and shared systems, Geely has adopted a matching development strategy.

Its focus is on simultaneous development of both electric vehicles and energy-saving vehicles. Toward this end, Geely is enhancing its investment in technology.

“We’ve established intelligent battery-swap stations in Chongqing, Hangzhou (Zhejiang province), and Jinan and Zibo (Shandong province),” said Yang Quankai, head of battery swapping at Geely Technology Group, a Geely unit.

The company recently completed its first battery-swapping vehicle, the Maple 80V, in Zibo.

Equipped with the company’s self-developed intelligent battery-swapping technology, the model can switch to another battery in 80 seconds, helping alleviate the range anxiety among many owners of new energy vehicles or NEVs.

So far, it has inked deals with over 1,000 battery-swap stations nationwide. By 2025, Geely Technology Group will have 5,000 battery-swap stations across China, Yang said.

From January to November, Geely exported 60,800 vehicles, with November’s exports reaching 11,800, registering a 200 percent increase year-on-year.

Lynk & Co, a joint venture between Geely Auto and Volvo Cars that makes high-end vehicles, opened a showroom in October in Amsterdam, marking the start of its foray into European markets.

With that, the 4-year-old upscale brand has kicked off presales of the 01 SUV tailor-made for the global market. Lynk focuses on internet connectivity and innovative purchasing models in certain markets, and young professionals are its target consumers.

Lynk said it plans to deliver its vehicles in Europe in early 2021. In late September, the carmaker announced its European business plan.

In addition to selling cars, Lynk is promoting a subscription-like membership program as part of its sustainable mobility vision.

The membership model is intended to replace the classic purchase or leasing, with the monthly cost including insurance and maintenance.

Participants in the program are encouraged to share their vehicles with others through a Lynk app. The cars can be shared with anyone who registers on the app.

Alain Visser, CEO of Lynk, said,”Compared with selling more vehicles, we prefer to develop a different business model of the automobile industry, which can use the car more effectively in addition to the 4 percent of use time.”

Between January and November 2020, Geely sold a combined 1.17 million vehicles, registering sales growth year-on-year as well as month-on-month growth for four consecutive months.

By the end of November, the auto giant reached 88 percent of its yearly sales target of 1.32 million vehicles.

The November sales volume of passenger cars made in China reached 2.08 million units, up 8 percent year-on-year, said the China Passenger Car Association.

The CPCA attributed the rise in sales to better-than-expected warm weather in export markets, the global macroeconomic situation and a more than doubling of sales of NEVs. In November, 169,000 NEVs were sold, up 136.5 percent year-on-year.

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