Chinese car maker Geely – better known for its ownership of Volvo – will launch in the UK in late 2012.
Parent company Geely International Corporation has struck a deal with Manganese Bronze Holdings to be its distributor in the UK market.
MBH is the parent company of The London Taxi Company, which manufactures the iconic black cab in Coventry. The name of the new UK distributor will be Geely Auto UK.
What cars will Geely sell in the UK?
First up is the Geely Emgrand EC7, a car roughly the same size as the Skoda Octavia. It'll be powered by 1.5- and 1.8-litre petrol engines and be available with a four- or five-door bodystyle.
Prices will kick off at around £10,000 – making this car significantly cheaper than an Octavia which starts at around £13k.
The EC7 has a pretty modern design, although the proof will be in the pudding. Not so long ago, domestic cars seen at Chinese motor shows had all the build quality of a 99p children's toy – but the leaps and bounds made in manufacturing mean that China's car makers are rapidly closing the gap with Europe's establishment.
How will the Geely cars be sold?
Not from Volvo dealerships, that's for sure. Although it owns Volvo, Geely will have a quite distinct chain of showrooms. The company plans a network of 30-40 dealerships in place in time for launch at the end of 2012.
Matthew Cheyne, market development director of Geely Auto UK, said: 'Geely has a comprehensive range of models well suited to European requirements. 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.
'Geely cars are already suitable for Europe and meet EU homologation and whole vehicle type approval and of course Euro 5 emissions. They are all well equipped products but at affordable prices and will carry a five-year, 100,000-mile warranty.'
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