Aimed at the mainstream segment, its first product is due on sale here by Jan 2020, at an estimated S$150k with COE
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, parent company of Chinese car brand Geely, unveiled tonight a whole new electric vehicle (EV) sub-brand, Geometry, at a global launch event at Marina Bay Sands.
With our small land area, dense population and high automotive taxes, Singapore doesn’t seem like a natural choice as a venue to premiere a whole new car brand. Yet where some might see restriction, one company saw opportunity.
“We chose to launch Geometry in Singapore because we feel the country’s status as a modern, forward-thinking, and environmentally-conscious nation closely reflects the core values of the Geometry brand,” said Mr An Conghui (above), president of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and CEO of Geely Auto.
On the same day, the company also signed Memoria of Understanding (MOU) with representatives from Argentina, France, Norway, and Singapore to establish Geometry distributors in these countries.
Hong Seh Motors, which currently imports grey-market Teslas, will represent the new brand not only in Singapore, but also in Australia and New Zealand, as well as other selected Southeast Asian markets.
“As an official partner for Geometry in Singapore and abroad, it represents a rebirth into a new era for us,” said Mr Edward Tan, Executive Director of Hong Seh Motors. “Though we started out with combustion engines in supercars and luxury cars, we feel that electric transportation is the future as it is cleaner and has the ability to move the masses effectively.”
Geometry’s first product, the A, is a fully electric mid-sized sedan, which is expected to go on sale initially in left-hand drive markets. Singapore will be the first right-hand drive market to receive the new car, with a launch date expected for December this year or January 2020, according to Hong Seh.
The A is merely the start of Geometry’s journey, though. Similar to what Toyota did with Lexus, Geely is launching Geometry as a standalone brand in, with an entire lineup of affordable EVs in the works.
The company’s target will be the mainstream segment. At just over 4.7-metres in length and with a wheelbase of 2.7-metres, the A is slightly bigger than other family sedans like the Toyota Corolla Altis or Skoda Octavia. That means the A will also be larger than other mainstream EVs like the Hyundai Ioniq and Kona, and the incoming Nissan Leaf, although with Hong Seh’s tentative estimated price tag of S$140,000 to $150,000 with COE, you do seem to be getting more metal for your money.
The A will come with two battery options, offering potential maximum ranges of 410km and 500km. A 120kW (or 160 horsepower) electric motor drives the front wheels, and will power the car to 150km/h.
Geely certainly has come a long way since the dark days of poor-quality, bargain basement Chinese cars of a decade ago. The A looks modern, feels well put together, and promises to pack plenty of technology, some of which might have come from some pretty credible sources.
Geely owns Volvo Car Group, and operates Lynk & Co, a start-up luxury car company, as a joint venture with Volvo. With a 10 percent stake, it’s also the single largest shareholder of Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz.
Its subsidiary, the Hong Kong-listed Geely Auto Group, has majority stakes in Lotus, the iconic British sports car brand, and owns 49.9 percent of Malaysia’s Proton; its latest model, the X70 sport utility vehicle, is based on a Geely design, and is fast becoming the most popular SUV in Malaysia.
While Geely’s empire is a sprawling one, Geometry embodies its desire to develop a world-class brand from scratch. The new brand could also be viewed as a sign that Chinese car companies want to seize the lead in a market that is still in its infancy; battery-powered and plug-in hybrid cars accounted for just 2.2 per cent of total car sales around the world last year.
China already buys more electric cars than any other country. What Geometry’s launch shows is that it wants to sell more of them than anyone else, too.