Li Shufu, the billionaire chairman of one of China’s most successful companies, Geely – now the owner of Scandinavia’s Volvo – sees the European brand ready to catch up with luxury rivals.
As Geely has started to show its weaknesses on what is now the world’s biggest auto market – losing ground to foreign brands – the company sees Volvo as its best bet to improve sales, image and – ultimately – profit.
“Because of a lapse of investment in product development over the years under previous ownership, we do see a lack of modernization of Scandinavian design,” Li said in an interview. “In this fast-developing world, particularly in the fast-transforming China market, we really need to take this opportunity and offer a modern interpretation of Scandinavian design which fits people’s demands perfectly.”
The chairman also denied ongoing rumors about tension between executives at the parent company – Zhejiang Geely Holdings and those at Volvo Cars, but he acknowledged that changes needed to be made for the company to move forward.
Volvo is also “a late-comer for the fast transforming China market”, which saw sales of 18 million units in the passenger car segment alone last year and has become one of the most competitive ever – with automakers seeing success here as critical to their global efforts.
Via Financial Times