Chinese billionaire Li Shufu is revamping his flagship Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. after setting Swedish automaker Volvo Cars on a five-year renewal. His latest move involves killing three brands.
At the National Aquatics Center in Beijing last night, Li handed the keys of the carmaker’s latest Geely GC9 sedan to members of the Chinese national swimming team, which the company is sponsoring. The carmaker will replace its Emgrand, Gleagle and Englon marques introduced in 2009 and market all future models under the single “Geely” brand.
The Hangzhou, China-based automaker will also concentrate on creating “refined cars” instead of making “good yet affordable” autos as it seeks to stands out in the world’s largest auto market, according to the company. Li is embarking on the revamp as the carmaker’s sales slumped 22 percent last month from a year earlier amid a broader slide in market share by homegrown marques to foreign brands led by Volkswagen AG and General Motors Co.
“Chinese can not only make cars, but are also capable of making good cars,” An Conghui, chief executive officer of Zhejiang Geely, told reporters at the event yesterday. “We are utilizing the very best designers the automotive world offers to create a new global design language.”