Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. plans to start selling a Chinese-produced sedan in the U.K, and now in Italy — according to Geely Italy’s Gianluca Gregis.
The Chinese automaker also plans to set up a car sales network in Italy. Gianluca Gregis, said the company plans to have 300 service centers and dealers in the Italian market within the next decade and will bring in the left hand drive Emgrand EC7 — a midsize four-door sedan, initially with 1.5-liter and 1.8-liter gasoline-engine options — followed by the EC7-RV, a hatchback variant of the popular sedan.
Victor Yang, a spokesman for Geely, said the China-based company is still mostly focused on the developing market and “”we still have a long way to go before we can even attempt to take a big bite out of an advanced market” like the U.K or Italy.
But he said it is part of a broader effort to “tip-toe” into the European market.
But being cheap is not good enough, according to Nikki Jones, director of the consulting companyCalling Brands.
Citing research, she said UK consumers have “lots of questions” about the safety and reliability of Chinese brands.
It achieved a five-star safety rating in the China-New Car Assessment Program, which conductsvarious tests on vehicles. That rating was the maximum obtainable, according to a company releasein January.