Geely, China’s most aggressive car maker, launched no less than three new sub-brands at this week’s Shanghai show, embracing more than 20 new models or model variants.
The brands are Gleagle (for affordable saloons and SUVs), Emgrand (for sporty and prestigious models) and Shanghai Englon (for ‘heritage’ models). The company showed six all-new models and concepts. Its traffic-stopper was the outrageous Shanghai Englon GE (for ‘Geely Excellence’), a new luxury saloon whose styling refers clearly to the larger Rolls-Royce Phantom.
Under the same sub-brand was a familiar-looking TX4 London cab, soon to be made in China under a deal with Coventry-based taxi manufacturer LTI.
Wearing the new Emgrand badge was the imposing EX285, a “grand luxury” SUV due for launch in 2010, and the GT (which allegedly stands for ‘Geely Tiger’).
This is an aggressive-looking, scissor-door two-seater coupe of small Viper proportions, powered by a 220kW, 3.5 litre V6. The car was first seen as a concept at Beijing last year. The new Gleagle brand was represented by the IG (for “Intelligent Geely”), a tiny and simple three-plus-one battery car with a single gullwing door each side, and the EK2, a close-to-reality, five-door full-electric saloon of Toyota Aygo dimensions, developed from the EK1 proposal.
The car, which weighs 1200 kilograms at the kerb and is developed with lithium-ion batteries, is claimed to have a 95mph top speed and a 115-mile range. Geely, which last year sold around 300,000 cars a year, was founded as a private company in 1986 and is headed by chairman Li Shufu, the self-styled “Chinese Henry Ford”.
The company’s most recent annual report claims it wants to sell a million cars next year, split across 15 different models, and double the figure again by 2015.