China's Geely to sell sedans in Britain

15th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

Chinese automaker Geely said Thursday it plans to start selling cars in Britain by the end of next year, as the company seeks to expand its presence in developed markets.

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, which owns Swedish nameplate Volvo, will sell its Emgrand EC7 sedan through a network of 30-40 dealerships around Britain, company spokesman Victor Yang told AFP.

"The leaps and bounds made in manufacturing mean that China's car makers are rapidly closely the gap with Europe's establishment," Yang said.

"We will be aiming to widen our range just as quickly as possible, probably at least a new model range every year for the next four to five years."

The four and five-door sedans will be priced from 10,000 pounds ($15,460) and will be distributed through Manganese Bronze Holdings under the name Geely Auto UK.

Geely already exports vehicles to more than 40 developing countries in eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia.

The move highlights the growing global ambitions of Chinese automakers such as Geely, which bought Volvo from US auto giant Ford for $1.5 billion in 2010, less than a quarter of what Ford paid for the company in 1999.

It sold almost 416,000 sedans last year with export sales accounting for about five percent of the total.

Geely has become one of China's largest private carmakers since launching its auto manufacturing business in 1997. It has an annual production capacity of 300,000 cars and hopes to boost sales to two million by 2015.

© 2011 AFP

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