Chinese automaker Geely, the parent company of Sweden’s Volvo, is mulling the introduction of a new small crossover utility vehicle sometimes later in 2016.
The model, to start production somewhere in the fall of 2016, would be the first employing the new common architecture the Chinese have developed jointly with their Swedish premium subsidiary. Additionally, the vehicle – which hasn’t been named yet – would reach Chinese dealerships in early 2017 and then head off towards certain European markets a year or so later, with the eventual target also being the United States. The news comes courtesy of a report from Reuters, which cited as sources two of the carmaker’s top executives, one of them quitting recently the Chinese company.
Volvo Cars, the once faltering Swedish automaker Geely acquired from America’s Ford Motor almost five years ago, has used its expertise to help the Chinese parent develop the new common architecture dubbed Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) and also contributed with engine technology. Geely’s partnership with its affiliate Volvo – a premium brand well known globally for its safety focus – could arise as a pattern for Chinese companies aiming to integrate and better control purchased consumer brands – especially from the West.
Zhejiang Geely, which also bought years ago black cab maker London Taxi Company, is now constructing a new car plant in eastern China, tasked to build at least 150,000 CMA-based vehicles annually for the Chinese brand and the Swedish partner. The model exported to Europe would initially be an alternative-fuel version, such as a plug-in hybrid, with the traditional version first reserved for the internal market.