Geely reportedly to establish independent EV firm

February 19, 2021 ideaTechX

Chinese automaker Geely plans to set up a new company to explore a new approach to product planning, marketing, and sales of electric vehicles (EV), a radical departure from the industry practice of marketing and selling electric vehicles alongside conventional cars, Reuters said on February 19, citing sources.

The plan is Geely’s latest effort to counter the attack by electric car companies including Tesla after announcing a series of partnerships last month aimed at establishing Geely as a leading contract manufacturer and engineering service provider for electric vehicles.

Geely is the owner of Volvo and holds a 9.7 percent stake in Daimler. It plans to set up Lingling Technologies this year to manage models based on its open-source electric vehicle product platform, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.

The platform, launched in September 2020, was named Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA).

They said the unit will also take over the marketing and sales of Geely’s premium brand Lynk& Co (starting with the Zero model) and electric vehicles based on the SEA architecture under the Geometry brand.

Geely Auto, Geely’s main publicly-traded company, sold 1.32 million vehicles last year.

However, the company has seen sales of its electric cars, gasoline-battery hybrids, and plug-in hybrids decline as many drivers turn to traditional fuel-powered vehicles as well as longer-range electric vehicles from other brands.

Geely’s management realized the need to develop, market, and sell electric vehicles differently from traditional cars, so they decided to create a separate company, Reuters reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The new company has not yet been registered and an official name has not yet been decided, the people familiar with the matter said.

The company, which will be independent of the traditional car division, will research and update technologies related to SEA and will obtain market data in a different way to develop electric car models accordingly, they said.

The company will have a separate sales team and will open showrooms downtown, some of which will work with dealers, and some self-owned showrooms that will directly control pricing and inventory, two of the people familiar with the matter said.

Earlier in January, Baidu announced the formation of a smart car company to enter the auto industry as a vehicle manufacturer. Geely will be a strategic partner of the new company.

The newly formed car company will target the passenger car market and will focus on the entire industry chain of smart car design and development, manufacturing and sales, and service, the company said.

Baidu said it hopes to use Apollo’s leading autonomous driving capabilities and take advantage of its eight-year-long experience in the field of automotive intelligence to reshape the product form of smart cars and become a change agent in the era of intelligent mobility.

On January 19, Geely announced that it had signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Tencent, under which the two companies will cooperate in the areas of the intelligent cockpit, autonomous driving, digital marketing, and low-carbon development.

Tencent will help Geely complete the digital upgrade of the “whole life cycle of users” and build a “user-centered” digital service system in R&D, manufacturing, marketing, usage, user operation, and after-sales service.

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