Cars, Geely, International News

All Geely cars to come with Intelligent Air Purification System (IAPS) from March, same level as N95 mask


After announcing earlier this month that it has earmarked 370 million RMB (RM218 million) to further the development of “healthy, intelligent vehicles” Geely is now saying that all of its future vehicles will be equipped with the G-Clean Intelligent Air Purification System (IAPS), a new system that is able to automatically filter out harmful particulates.

Geely says that its IAPS system was developed in just 20 days, spurred by the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak that’s gripping China. Geely’s engineers worked non-stop with suppliers to bring the concept from the drawing board to future production vehicles in record time, the carmaker said, adding that IAPS will be available in production cars from March 2020.

At the core of the IAPS system is a new active carbon chemical filter that can effectively absorb harmful gases such as formaldehyde as it enters the vehicle. It’s also able to filter out bad odour and harmful pollutants once they are detected by the system automatically.

IAPS also comes with a negative ion generator that’s able to sterilise and deodorise the in-car air. This works towards the removal of airborne viruses, bacteria, fungi and mould. Geely says that this is the same level of air filtration as an N95 respiration system.

Geely has already introduced the new IAPS system into 150 Geely Jiaji MPVs that have been given to frontline workers battling the Covid-19 coronavirus across China.

Under the Geely Healthy Car programme, the carmaker has pledged to invest 370 million RMB (RM218 million) to the development of healthier vehicles. There are three phases – in the first phase, Geely will introduce short term solutions such as the IAPS system. In phases two and three, Geely will be partnering with leading medical agencies and material companies to develop clean materials for interior and exterior parts such as buttons and grab handles, parts that can harbour harmful bacteria and virus.

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Geely, International News

Geely Auto 2019 sales down 9.3% from 1,500,838 units in 2018 to 1,361,560 units, but still top of China market


Geely Automobile Holdings reported cumulative sales of 1,361,560 units for 2019, which represents a 9.3% drop from the 1,500,838 units sold in 2018 (itself a huge increase from the 1,247,116 units sold in 2017). Geely however retained its top spot among the Chinese brands; the group set its 2019 target at 1.51 million units before revising its target in July 2019 to 1,360,000 units.

Premium brand Lynk & Co sold 128,606 units in 2019, recording a 6.4% growth over its 2018 sales figure of 120,414 units, while recording sales of over 10,000 units monthly for five consecutive months. On the SUV front, Geely sold 709,841 units in 2019 compared to 857,922 units in 2018; SUVs comprised of 52.1% of Geely Auto’s total sales last year compared to 57% of total sales in 2018.

Last year saw the introduction of Geely’s new fully electric vehicle brand Geometry with the unveiling of the Geometry A, formerly known as the Geely GE11, the Jiaji MPV, Xingyue coupe SUV and the Boyue Pro. 2019 also saw the sales of ‘new energy’ (electrified) vehicles reach 113,067 units, a year-on-year increase of 68.6%, while exports grew 110.6% year-on-year to 57,991 vehicles last year.

Closer to home, the Geely Boyue-based Proton X70 sold 2,979 units in the first quarter and this figure had grown to 26,000 by December, though this came up short of Proton CEO Li Chunrong’s target of 30,000 units for the SUV. Other milestones in 2019 include the Belarus joint venture plant, Belgee roll out its 20,000th Geely Group vehicle, and Lynk & Co secured the WTCR championship in December at Sepang.

Looking forward, Geely has six new products set for introduction this year, including a second BMA architecture-based SUV dubbed the Icon, the VX11 Haoyue mid-sized SUV, the Lynk & Co 05 coupe-SUV and fully electric model codenamed GE13.

“The global automotive market is facing an unprecedented change not seen in over a century. Challenges and opportunities exist side by side. With the market as the battlefield, Geely Auto will take the user demand as a guide, products as our core, and market share as our goal,” said An Conghui, president of Geely Holding Group and president and CEO of Geely Auto Group.

The group has set a target of 1.41 million units for 2020, which represents a 3.6% increase from the 2019 target but still down from its aforementioned peak of 1,500,838 attained in 2018.

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Cars, Geely, International News

LEVC TX: Iconic six-seater London taxi enters Japan


An icon lands in Japan! The London Electric Vehicle (LEVC) has just launched its TX model in Tokyo, which will serve as a premium alternative to commuters in the Land of the Rising Sun. Order books open in February and first customer deliveries will begin in Q2 2020.

The purpose-built TX is a spacious six-seater cab, complete with wheelchair access and boasts an efficient eCity powertrain that exceeds Japanese regulations. An onboard petrol generator functions as a range extender, offering up to 640 km of range, of which 130 km will be pure electric. It has a turning circle of 8.45 metres, which LEVC says is class-leading.

It uses a bonded aluminium construction instead of welding or riveting, which helps with weight savings (important to offset the battery’s weight), with LEVC claiming that the TX is the company’s safest model ever. The cabin even features a huge panoramic roof, charging points for mobile phones and laptops, and “unrivalled cabin space.”

LEVC hopes the TX will be appealing to fleet operators and premium shuttle fleets in Japanese cities. The country’s taxi industry has over 240,000 vehicles in operation, with 50,000 based in Tokyo. LEVC CEO, Joerg Hofmann said: “We are delighted to further grow our international footprint of green mobility solutions with the launch of the TX in Japan.”

“We are reinventing a British icon, transforming the company from a traditional taxi manufacturer to a green mobility company, producing a wider range of electric commercial vehicles. The electric TX will set new standards across Japan in the taxi and premium shuttle market, delighting passengers, drivers and fleet operators alike. We are looking forward to seeing TX on the streets of Tokyo and across cities throughout Japan,” he added.

Since its launch in early 2018, over 3,800 units of the TX have been sold globally. The UK remains its largest market, but LEVC is entering other markets such as Germany, France, Switzerland, Denmark, and the Middle East. LEVC even offers the TX4 in the ASEAN region, of which is assembled in Thailand.

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Daimler, Geely

Daimler and Volvo could jointly develop internal combustion engines


BERLIN — Luxury German carmaker Daimler and Volvo, owned by China’s Geely, are considering cooperating to cut the costs of developing combustion engines, a magazine reported on Sunday, citing unnamed company sources.

The Automobilwoche weekly cited a Volvo manager as saying there were initial talks with Daimler, but no concrete plans, while a company spokesman said it was too early to talk about firm projects, although it was not excluding anybody.

A Daimler spokesman said the company’s cooperation with Geely, which owns a 10% stake in the German carmaker, was developing in a positive way, but declined to comment further.

Global tariffs, accelerated by a trade war between China and the United States, as well as higher investment requirements for electric and autonomous vehicles, are forcing carmakers to seek new ways to cut and share costs.

In October, Volvo said it would merge its engine development and manufacturing assets with those of Geely, creating a division to supply in-house brands and also potentially others with next-generation combustion and hybrid engines.

Automobilwoche said this new division would start operating by the end of March, which could be a possible starting point for cooperation with Daimler, while a further step could be a partnership to develop electric power trains.

Geely and Daimler have said they plan to build the next generation of Smart electric cars in China through a joint venture and the two companies are also cooperating on a premium ride-hailing service in China.

Geely bought Volvo Cars in 2010 from Ford, allowing the Swedish brand to operate on an arms-length basis. But in recent years, it has deepened cooperation between the two brands.

Volvo already supplies engines to some Geely-branded vehicles, sharing technology through Geely’s Lynk brand. Both companies share and develop common vehicle platforms.

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Daimler, Geely

Daimler and Geely launch premium ride-hailing service in China


German auto giant Daimler and its Chinese shareholder Zhejiang Geely Holding Group have joined forces to take on the booming ride-hailing market in China, which is currently dominated by Didi Chuxing.

The two automakers on Tuesday established a 50:50 joint venture to offer various mobility services, starting with a premium ride-hailing service in the city of Hangzhou, which has a population of more than 10 million and is also home to Geely’s headquarters.

The service, called StarRides, will initially rely on a fleet of 100 vehicles, made of up Mercedes-Benz S-Class, E-Class and V-Class models. The service will be expanded to more Chinese cities in 2020 and could eventually include some Maybach models. And further reflecting its premium positioning, only professionally trained drivers will be used by the service.

Daimler and Geely establish mobility joint venture in China

Daimler and Geely are equally represented on the board of the joint venture. The two are also looking at additional services and plan to jointly develop the software infrastructure required to support the services.

The joint venture represents the second major partnership between Daimler and Geely following Geely’s acquisition of a 9.7-percent stake in Daimler in 2018, a move that made Geely the single biggest shareholder in the German automaker. In March, Daimler and Geely also formed a joint venture to oversee the Smart brand.

Geely boss Li Shufu previously said he wanted to join Daimler to help reshape the automotive landscape toward one filled with electric and self-driving cars, as well as to fend off new entrants in the industry like the tech and ride-hailing companies.

StarRides premium ride-hailing service launched in China

StarRides premium ride-hailing service launched in China

Daimler is also working with Chinese tech giant Baidu on a self-driving system for Chinese roads, so we could potentially see StarRides or a similar service eventually feature driverless cars.

Taking on Didi in China’s ride-hailing market won’t be easy. After a long battle, Uber in 2016 finally threw in the towel and sold its Chinese operations to Didi which counts not only Uber but also Apple and Softbank as major investors.

Geely already has some experience in the mobility space. It currently offers a ride-hailing service called Caocao across 28 Chinese cities. Likewise, Daimler has experience with its Free Now service, which is a ride-hailing service that relies on taxis and is offered in parts of Europe. Daimler is also in the process of merging all of its mobility services into a new 50:50 joint venture established with BMW Group in 2018.



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Cars, Geely, International News

Geely Icon – new BMA-based B-segment SUV unveiled


First revealed last month, the Geely Icon has finally broken cover, the B-segment SUV making its first appearance at a design seminar in Beijing and revealing a far sharper-looking offering than that suggested by the studio shots.

Based on the Concept Icon that was shown last year at the Beijing Auto Show, the series production Icon is the second SUV to utilise the company’s B-Segment Modular Architecture (BMA) platform after the Binyue. Design-wise, it retains much of the cues seen on the study, including the distinct, blocky silhouette.

The striking front end features a reinterpreted “expanding cosmos” grille, which runs across the entire width of the fascia to the vertical-oriented infinity loop headlights, and the uppers section houses slim LED daytime running lights.

Other styling elements include blacked-out pillars, flush pop-out door handles and side mirrors with integrated turn signals, while at the back, the infinity loop motif is to be found again on the rectangular rear lamps, along with a linear rectangular expanding cosmos pattern motif on the section that forms the number plate recess.

The interior, meanwhile, features a layered, multi-tiered dashboard with air-conditioning vents shaped like the infinity symbol. Two big screen displays are to be found, one for the instruments and the other for the central infotainment panel. These provide interaction with the vehicle and connect to the rest of the world through the use of the GKUI Geely Smart Ecosystem.

There are still no technical details about the car – suggestions of its dimensions have the SUV measuring in at 4,350 mm long, 1,810 mm wide and 1,615 mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2,640 mm, which would make it slightly larger than the Binyue.

As for powertrains, only one engine is said to be confirmed at the moment, a 1.5 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine offering 174 hp and 255 Nm of torque, paired with a seven-speed dual clutch transmission.

The automaker says the Icon, which had its exterior initially conceived by Geely’s Barcelona studio and its interior penned by its California-based outfit, is very much a global model aimed at opening a new era of smart mobility for a fresh generation of users demanding high-tech, inspiring vehicles. What do you think of the Icon? Would it make for a good Proton model?

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