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Geely Emgrand EC7 heading to UK

Geely Emgrand EC7

It seems that pretty soon UK citizens will be able to buy a Geely car as the Chinese automaker has reached an agreement with Manganese Bronze Holdings plc in order to become the first official distributor for the United Kingdom. The first car that will hit UK will be the Emgrand EC7 which will be available as a 4-door sedan and a 5-door hatchback.

Geely Emgrand EC7

Customers will be able to choose either the 1.5-liter or the beefier 1.8-liter gasoline engine, and all of the cars will be “well equipped”, according to Geely. The model will be sold with a 5-year, 100,000-mile warranty and the prices are expected to start from somewhere around 10,000 pounds (about $15,700 / 11,600 Euros).

Geely Emgrand EC7

It is indeed cheap, but who in their right mind would ever want to buy a Chinese car? Better stick with a used one from a reliable automaker.

Geely Emgrand EC7

Source: Geely

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Shanghai Preview – Geely GS-CC

Geely GS-CC

The Chinese automaker Geely has revealed the first batch of pictures with its new Gleagle GS-CC, before the car’s official debut at the Shanghai Auto Show. Just like the coupe version, the CC comes with a rather interesting cheese greater grille, a sweptback windscreen, and a muscular rear end.

Geely GS-CC

While some of you will either like or dislike how to the car looks on the exterior, the interior is pretty good if you ask me, featuring a sporty design and surprisingly good materials for a China-made car. Things are not looking so good under the hood where we find a tiny 4-cylinder 1.3-liter turbocharged power unit that outputs a mere 127 hp (129 PS / 95 kW).

Geely GS-CC

We’ll have more information for you next week when the Shanghai Motor Show starts. Stay tuned.

Geely GS-CC

Source: Geely via Le Blog Auto via WCF

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Future Of Automotive – Talking Cars

Ford's vehicle to vehicle communication system

It seems that pretty soon our cars will “talk” to each other and they will have the possibility to alert us to threats that we aren’t aware of. There is more than just one automaker that is developing such a car and the US government is looking for ideas to expand this promising technology.

The Blue Oval has already shown us that the technology works and can be implemented, launching a crash-avoidance system that will allow vehicles to communicate with each other at distances of more than 900 ft. This system uses the Wi-Fi and GPS signals emitted 10 times / second in order to provide a 360-degree view around the vehicle. The driver gets a warning when the system detects a risk like someone running a red light at the next intersection.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that this technology could address to 4.3 million crashes, or approximately 80% of the accidents that do not occur because of drunk drivers.

The Swedish automaker Volvo managed to successfully participate in the very first successful test of a “road train”. These so-called road trains consist of cars that are equipped with sensors that have the capability to monitor the distance, speed and the direction of the car in front and mimic its actions. These semi-autonomous vehicles are “tethered” and follow a lead car which is driven by a professional driver.

Audi will be launching pretty soon a 3-year project dubbed “Audi Urban Intelligent Assist”. Through the company’s Electronics Research Laboratory, located in Silicon Valley, Audi wants to link drivers to the road through connected vehicles in order to ease the congestion and increase safety in traffic.

The United States Department of Transportation said that this technology “has the potential to save a lot of lives.” The idea behind this project is to benefit from short range communications, like Wi-Fi but considerably faster and more secure, in a complex system that allows cars to communicate to each other and the surrounding infrastructure.

The Blue Oval company has been working on this technology for about 10 years and pretty soon it will be rolling out a pair of Taurus sedans in order to demonstrate it. In its plans to accelerate the development of the system, Ford will be creating a task force of scientists, planners and engineers. They said that they will be doubling their budget for researching intelligent cars.

As far as the current crash-avoidance systems are concerned, most of them use radar, but according to Ford; Wi-Fi and GPS are superior because the radar needs a direct line of site to spot the hazards. Wi-Fi technology allows for a 360-degree around the car.

In order to make this system compatible on a large scale, the cars must be able to speak the same “language”.  The goal behind this project is to come up with a standardized system that could be used for all cars. Ford is planning to complete the initial research in two years and the technology itself could be implemented within 5-10 years.

Source: Wired.com

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Geely brand to be dissolved by 2012, will shift focus to other brands including Volvo

Chinese car company Geely Automotive Holding, one of the country’s four large carmakers, has just announced that it will be shutting down the Geely brand in order to focus on its other divisions.

The other brands from under the Geely corporate umbrella are the mainstream Gleagle, the slightly more upmarket Emgrand, the Englon, and, as of last month, Volvo.

According to the company, the strength of the Geely brand was slowing down growth for the other divisions, so it decided to dissolve the name. Existing models like the Freedom Ship and the Yuan Jing will be sold under the Gleagle brand, while the King Kong and Golden Eagle will become Englons.

While this may sound a bit confusing, the most important part is that Geely will be fencing its bets, and it’s safe to say that Volvo will become its biggest brand.


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Ford officially sells Volvo to Geely for $1.8 billion

After almost a year of negotiations, weeks of rumors and speculation and a lot of legal battles, Ford has finally revealed that it has sold Volvo to Chinese car company Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Company Limited, simply known as Geely.

The whole deal has been priced $1.8 billion, which was paid by the Asian company for 100% ownership of Volvo, as well as all of its assets together with the Swedish and Belgian manufacturing plants.

The deal was met with excitement by both Ford and Geely. The companies will continue to work together on joint platforms and engines developed by Blue Oval and Volvo engineers. Supply contracts will also be honored.

The former head of Volvo, Stephen Odell, will move on to lead Ford of Europe, and his place will be taken by Stefan Jacoby, none other than the former CEO of Volkswagen USA. The chairman of Volvo will be Geely founder Li Shufu.

Plans include the obvious expansion into the Chinese territory for Volvo, while Geely will put to good use the safety technologies the Swedish company uses in all of its cars.

May this new deal help all of the parties involved, and let’s hope that Volvo will continue walking its own path under the Chinese ownership.


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Ford to complete Volvo sale to Geely next week

It seems that Volvo‘s odyssey will come to a final conclusion next week, as Ford will complete the sale of the Swedish brand to Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely.

According to a report from the Detroit News, the Blue Oval and the Chinese company will sign off the last papers, and Volvo will become the property of Geely, alongside all assets, plants and liquidities.

Geely is expected to pay up to $1.8 billion for the Swedish brand, less than a third of what Ford paid for the company back in 1999.

Expect many leadership changes, as Li Shufu, the founder of Geely, will become chairman of Volvo, while the brand’s CEO, Stephen Odell, will go on to lead Ford of Europe. Hans-Olov Olsson, a former Volvo executive will be kept as vice chairman.

The Ford-Geely-Volvo odyssey has continued for quite some time, ever since the Blue Oval decided to sell off its European brands, in order to focus more on itself. Hopefully Geely will known how to take care of Volvo and continue its growth.

Expect the official news to arrive next week.


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Video: Geely Panda compact shows off its wild side

Chinese car company Geely hasn’t really made a big deal of its models. When it did appear in the media, usually it was because it had copied designs from Rolls Royce or some other shameful thing.

Now, a new video presentation of its Panda compact (no relation to the Fiat Panda, we think) will definitely make up for all the bad things said about its cars.

In the video, a fleet of these tiny cars are shown doing some extreme stunt work, from going on two wheels, to backwards donuts, J turns and even popping a stoppie, just like with motorcycles.

If you really want to see how much fun a Chinese car can be, then hit the jump and find out.

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Geely presents the new London Taxi: the Englon TXN

Geely finally revealed the model it hopes will continue the legacy of the black London taxis, the Englon TXN, at the Beijing Motor Show.

For those of you who don’t remember, the Chinese carmaker is the owner of the London Taxis International company, which is responsible for making the famous black cabs we see prancing around the British capital. The models, while iconic as they may be, are in need of a replacement, at least according to the Chinese, who revealed the Englon TXN.

Basically an updated take on the usual black taxis, the TXN can also be ordered as a TX4 version, with increase space in the back. No matter the version, a choice of either a 2.4-liter gasoline engine coupled to a five-speed automatic or 2.5-liter diesel engine, coupled with a five-speed manual, can be ordered.

Companies willing to order these new models for their fleets should dig deep into their pockets, as given current exchange rates, a TXN will go for $30,500.


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Geely GE limousine drops Rolls Royce look in Beijing

At last year’s Shanghai Motor Show, Chinese carmaker Geely introduced its GE luxury limousine that, considering imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, made Rolls Royce feel extremely “good”.

After threatening with legal action, the Chinese carmaker, now the proud owner of Volvo, will reveal a restyled GE model at the upcoming Beijing Motor Show, taking place at the end of April. As you can see above, some serious modifications were made, from the curbed grille to the new headlamps, all in order to escape the keen eye of Rolls Royce.

The interior also saw some alterations, replacing the single rear seat with a more standard two-seat design. Expect the the GE limousine to appear under the Emgrand brand, alongside 58 (!) other vehicles at Geely’s stand at the Beijing Motor Show.


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Ford reaches agreement to sell Volvo to Geely for $1.8 billion

Sale talks between Ford and Geely have finally reached an agreement, and there’s now a new reason to celebrate in Sweden, as Volvo will soon be owned by China’s Geely.

In case you haven’t been following the proceedings, the talks between the two companies for the sale of Volvo have been going on for quite some time, and now an agreement has been reached, with Ford selling Volvo for $1.8 billion to Geely. The transaction is set to be finalized in the third quarter of 2010, but at least it is certain at this moment.

“Volvo is a great brand with an excellent product lineup. This agreement provides a solid foundation for Volvo to continue to build its business under Geely’s ownership,” said Alan Mulally, Ford’s president and CEO. “At the same time, the sale of Volvo will allow us to further sharpen our focus on building the Ford brand around the world and continue to deliver on our One Ford plan serving our customers with the very best cars and trucks in the world.”

Ford will not retain any stake in Volvo, but will continue to collaborate for some time in terms of engineering and safety research programs. Also, the Blue Oval will continue to supply various parts, from engines to platforms for a limited time, until Volvo and Geely can find other partners.

“Zhejiang Geely would like to pay tribute to Ford’s stewardship of the Volvo brand, and we look forward to continued cooperation as Volvo embarks on the next stage of its evolution with Geely,” said Li Shufu, chairman of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Company Limited.

Overall, while many will think this is a bad sign for Volvo, it was the only reasonable way to avoid bankruptcy. Also, it seems everyone is happy: Ford has gotten rid of a money-wasting subsidiary and has a lot of cash to invest in itself, Geely now has access to improved technology and is closer to establishing a global influence, and Volvo finally has more money to invest in its own vehicle lineup and try to make a profit in the following years.

Hopefully we will hear only good things about the new Geely-owned Volvo.


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Geely will not “damage” Volvo brand, executive says

One of the biggest deals set to be signed in the automotive industry these days is Ford’s sale of Volvo to Chinese company Geely, which will reportedly pay around $2 billion for the Swedish brand in order to get it off the hands of the American carmaker.

But while this will most likely prove to be a great deal for Volvo, as it will receive new money to further advance its safety research, many voices were worried that Geely will affect the image of the Swedish company and put off its potential customers.

“We want to be careful not to damage the Volvo brand,” said Freeman Shen, Geely’s vice president for international operations. “We don’t want the image of a luxury car made in a third world country. We want the image of a European luxury car, albeit owned by a Chinese owner.”

Shen continued, saying that Geely will provide new incentives to the current Volvo management, so that the company will continue as it is. A key step in making it profitable however will be to build a new production facility in China, with Geely receiving numerous offers already from various local governments ready to subsidize and offer incentives for the new plant.

Such a step won’t mean the relocation of Volvo to China though, as the main headquarters, the research bureau and the main production facility will still be located in Europe.


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Ford and Geely announce that a deal for Volvo has been reached

It seems Santa Claus has made one Swedish carmaker happy this holiday season, as Ford and Geely held a joint press conference and announced that a deal for Volvo has been reached, with the Chinese corporation, the largest privately owned carmaker in the Asian country, buying the company for an undisclosed amount from Ford.

While the final paperwork is set to be signed in the first quarter of 2010, the two companies have revealed that there are no more hurdles to jump through, and assured everyone that the deal will take place as soon as legally possible, preventing anyone from thinking of what happened to the negotiations between GM and Koenigsegg for another Swedish brand, Saab.

Geely might pay around $2 billion for Volvo, but no official word has been given. The sale, according to a Ford spokesman, “would ensure Volvo has the resources, including the capital investment, necessary to further strengthen the business and build its global franchise.”

This is definitely great news for Volvo, which will continue its research in safety systems, but also for Geely which will access technology from both Volvo and Ford. What do you believe? Is it for the best? Share your thoughts below.


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Geely to complete purchase of Volvo by February

Great news for at least one Swedish carmaker, as a source inside Geely has confirmed that the Chinese carmaker will seal the deal with Ford for its Volvo brand by the Chinese New Year, which falls on February 14.

“The Volvo deal sees no more hurdles,” revealed the source. “It is expected to be done before Chinese New Year, and then Geely will quickly launch integration.”

The same source has also revealed that Geely is quite serious about the deal and has already started its own internal review which studies the ways Volvo will be implented into Geely’s own operations, both in China and in other territories, like Europe.

This is definitely great news for Volvo fans, which will see the Swedish brand continue to launch new vehicles and further research new safety technologies. Hopefully we will hear good news about its fellow carmaker Saab, which is also looking for a buyer these days.


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Geely might be interested in Saab, going for Swedish double

Even though it is in heavy talks with Ford to buy Swedish car brand Volvo, it seems that Geely is taking some safety measures, and might also be interested in the other Swedish carmaker, Saab, which was recently left without a buyer after Koenigsegg backed down from talks with General Motors.

Speaking at a shareholder event, Geely executive Lawrence Ang neither denier nor confirmed the fact that his company is also in talks with GM for Saab. It’s worth to note that the Chinese brand did come up with an offer when GM revealed that it will sell Saab, but after Koenigsegg became the preferred bidder, it became more interested in Volvo.

With all the “musical chairs” talks going on for the two Swedish brands, nobody knows what to think. Hopefully, for the good of both Volvo and Saab, things will quiet down and all these talks will eventually come a solution.


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Volvo might be acquired by investment group led by former Ford executives

Volvo might be acquired by investment group led by former Ford executives

Things are rapidly changing not only for Saab, in recent weeks, but also for its fellow financially struggling carmaker Volvo. After seeing the Chinese company Geely named the preferred bidder for its acquisition from under the Ford corporate umbrella, now a new group has emerged.

The investment consortium, dubbed Crown, is led by former Ford director Michael Dingman and former Ford and Chrysler executive Shamel Rushwin, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. Even though Geely is in the preferred position, it seems that the bid from the investors is on par with the Chinese one, and might sway Ford to sell the Scandinavian brand to someone with which it has worked before.

Although nothing is for certain, and Ford declined to comment on the situation, it seems that Volvo might not need a Chinese visa anytime soon. We will keep you up to date as soon as new details emerge.


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