Global exports a new growth area for Geely
China's largest private carmaker, Geely, hit a record export volume in the first half of this year, which has become a new growth engine for the company.
The Hangzhou, Zhejiang province-based carmaker exported 88,000 cars in the first half. The figure climbed 64 percent year-on-year, according to official statistics released on Thursday. It is higher than China's auto exports growth, which is 50.6 percent for the first seven months.
Geely's premium marque brand, Lynk & Co, is playing a major role in the company's overseas strategy. Lynk & Co delivered 10,912 vehicles to Europe in the first half, a 40-fold increase compared with same period of 2021.
The brand started its forays in Europe in late 2020 with the Lynk& Co 01 SUV. It has set up showrooms in some European countries, including Sweden and the Netherlands.
In November, Geely revealed a plan for Lynk & Co to make inroads into the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East with its first stop in Kuwait. There it is to introduce an SUV in partnership with Kuwaiti company Al Zayani.
Lynk & Co said it will soon enter other countries in the region including the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Oman. It is also planning to export vehicles to such countries as Russia, Australia and New Zealand.
For other brands, the all-electric Geometry marque is exporting its SUV Geometry C to Israel. It ranked first in the pure electric vehicle segment in Israel, with a 21.7 percent market share in the first half of this year.
Malaysian carmaker Proton, in which Geely bought a 49.9 percent stake in 2017, exported 2,722 vehicles in the first half, up 81 percent year-on-year. The brand's exports ranked first in the Malaysian market.
In South Korea, Geely is cooperating with French auto manufacturer Renault and the two sides plan to produce hybrid vehicles and conventional gasoline-fueled vehicles in the future. The models will be built based on Compact Modular Architecture, developed by Geely's research facility in Sweden.
Geely bought a 34.02 percent stake in Renault's South Korean subsidiary earlier this year.
Geely Auto Group CEO Gan Jiayue said on Thursday that Lynk & Co will continue to promote Europe and Asia-Pacific strategies; Geely-branded vehicle will focus on the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and others; Proton will focus on the Southeast Asian market and accelerate expansion in Thailand, Vietnam and other emerging markets.
The carmaker aims for overseas sales to account for 20 percent of its total by 2025.
Geely has set up an overseas business management center and promoted overseas localization through layout of brands, products, supply chains and factories.
It will also export Geely's new energy technologies, hybrid and pure electric vehicles and accelerate globalization through technology licensing, subscription and cooperation with native car companies, the carmaker said.
In overall sales, Geely delivered 614,000 cars in the first half, a decrease of 3 percent year-on-year because of COVID-19 restrictions and chip shortage. It achieved an operating income of 58.2 billion yuan ($8.57 billion) during the period, a year-on-year increase of 29 percent.