We reported earlier this week that Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd, now parent of Volvo Cars intends to profit from its acquisition by developing with the Swedish automaker new models for the internal market. Now, the Chinese say they also want to expand the brand to U.S. in 2016.
A decade after founder Li Shufu first set the ambitious goal, in 2016, the Chinese automaker is now banking on Volvo’s reputation for safety and reliability to help it compete in developed markets, after a previous attempt to break into the U.S. failed because of a lack in consumer recognition and confidence.
“Our acquisition of Volvo enhanced our image and overseas consumers are seeing us as an international company,” Gui Shengyue, chief executive officer of Geely, said in an interview. “Our deliveries in U.S. and Europe will be banking on those jointly developed models.”
Geely’s shares rose 3.9% to HK$4.01 in Hong Kong, the highest close in more than three months. The stock has gained 9.3% this year, compared with the 3.5% decline in the benchmark Hang Seng Index.
The automaker said last week that it might become China’s biggest vehicle exporter this year with as many as 180,000 units in overseas shipments. Geely sold 100,800 vehicles abroad last year, lagging behind top-ranked Chery Automobile Co.’s 184,800 units, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
Also, Geely targets to have as much as 60% of its sales coming from overseas by 2018, Gui said. The automaker is planning to add a new sport utility vehicle model in China next year to better tap into the fast-growing segment, he said.