Geely, Volvo, Lynk&Co, Automotive trends, Auto industry trends, Automotive market research, Automotive market analysis, auto industry news

Geely is a Chinese OEM that sells cars under the Volvo, Lotus, Lynk&Co and several China market-only brands. It also owns a significant stake in, and has operational control of, Proton. The company also has shareholdings in Daimler, Volvo Trucks and Proton. This page contains research on Geely's activities and strategy.

Source: Company Reports, Ad Punctum Analysis

Source: Company Reports, Ad Punctum Analysis

Automotive trends, Auto industry trends, Automotive market research, Automotive market analysis, auto industry news

2019

October

  • Volvo and Geely are merging their internal combustion engine activities with a view to creating an independent organisation that can freely supply other car companies. There will be a phased transition: first each brand will put its powertrain operations on a standalone basis; then they will be merged. (Volvo)
  • Lynk&Co plans to have only two permanent display locations in each country, augmented by truck-based roving stores. (Autocar) The only model that will be available in Europe with the much-touted subscription option is the 01 SUV. Lynk&Co’s CEO thinks the brand might sell 140,000 - 150,000 cars in 2019, up about 30% on a year-over-year basis (this would imply a huge sales push in the final months of 2019; up to the end of August the improvement was more like 5%). (Auto Express)

Q3 2019 Earnings

  • Geely (excluding Volvo) sold 306,430 cars in Q3 2019 (down 17% on a year-over-year basis), of which 33.213 units were from Lynk&Co (down 18% YoY). Geely stopped reporting Lynk&Co’s model line breakout. (Geely)

September

  • Buying an additional 21.47% share of Kandi Electric Vehicles from Kandi Technologies for $72 million. After the deal is completed, Geely will own 78% of the business. (Kandi)
  • Lotus’s CEO said the brand was having a “good year” in 2019 in response to a question about whether it was still on track to deliver around 1,700 cars this year. Although he is looking for avenues to increase volumes and see personalisation as important, offering bespoke vehicles doesn’t appear to be a priority. (Bloomberg)
  • Volvo is reducing its use of consultants and “squeezing them a bit harder” to save money. The CEO believes that these measures, allied to more restrictive hiring criteria, will be enough to avoid job losses. (Automotive News)
  • Customers of Volvo’s all-inclusive leasing product (often referred to as subscription) are, on average, 10 years younger than the brand’s “typical” buyers. Volvo’s CEO attributes this to their decent pay but limited savings -- although he compared all-inclusive customers to those paying cash upfront, a rarity these dasy. Take-up rates are still low. A recently German scheme is accounting for 2.5% of sales (versus a 5% target). (Automotive News)
  • The Polestar 2 all-electric car will cost between €40,000 - €60,000 according to the CEO. (Manager Magazin)
  • Volvo is selling a limited edition XC90 (15 units) in India where the front passenger seat has been removed to create extra legroom and a stowable table for one of the rear seat passengers. The price is almost $200,000. (Autocar)
  • Volvo is achieving around 60% localisation for India-built products. (Autocar)
  • Will form a JV with flying taxi maker Volocopter, in addition to Geely’s Terrafugia stake. (Reuters)

August

  • Geely is apparently suing WM Motor for stealing trade secrets, asking for almost $300 million in compensation, in a case that goes to trial in September. (China Daily)
  • Volvo is adding more cars to the Care all-in two year lease (“subscription”) offering and will sometimes source cars from dealer inventory, rather than always requiring a new order. The CEO of Volvo in North America says the expansion of the scheme is one of his top three priorities. (Automotive News)
  • Opened the new Polestar factory in China with a press release highlighting the facility’s Aston Martin-ness. (Polestar)
  • Volvo says that a travelling pop-up showroom used in Germany has been to 80 events and attracted 1.4 million visitors. (Autohaus)
  • Some Volvo dealers complained to California’s licencing body that Volvo’s Care subscription program violates laws protecting dealer’s rights to sell cars. (Autoblog)
  • Lynk&Co still plans to launch products in Europe during 2020 and says that the decision to only produce cars in China (superseding an earlier scheme to make Europe-bound vehicles in Belgium) was taken because of the runaway success of the Volvo XC40 (made in the Belgian plant). The brand believes that the sweet spot for all-in subscription pricing is around €500 per month (but hasn’t decided on ideal contract length) and wants 500,000 global sales per year by 2021 (currently at around 110,000). (Automotive News)
  • Kandi received approval from Chinese authorities to become an electric car maker. (Kandi)

July

  • Volvo is recalling over 500,000 cars to fix problems with the engine intake manifolds. (Sky News)
  • Volvo said it was in the midst of a job cutting exercise to reduce fixed costs by 2 billion SEK (about $210 million). 750 staff have already gone since the start of 2019 and more could follow by the middle of 2020. (Volvo)
  • Volvo announced investments in MDGo, a firm creating software that automatically contacts medical personnel with data about occupant health after a crash and UVeye who are developing technology that can automatically check a vehicle for quality problems. (Volvo)
  • Volvo’s CEO thinks the brand portfolio might need an even bigger car than the XC90 and smaller one than the XC40 to achieve sales targets, promising a surprise in the future. (Auto Express)
  • Lotus took the wraps off the Evija supercar, an all-electric offering with a claimed 2,000 PS output. The production run will be limited to 130 examples priced at £1.7 million plus taxes. (Lotus)
  • Volvo has a new CFO. (Volvo)
  • Lotus’s new hypercar (previously known as Type 130) will be called Evija. (Lotus)

Q2 2019 Earnings

  • Geely reported first half 2019 revenue of 47.56 billion yuan (about $6.7 billion), down (11)% on a year-over-year basis and profit of 4.01 billion yuan (about $560 million), down (40)%. (Geely)
  • The Geely and Lynk&Co brands sold 285,092 units in Q2 2019, a fall of (25)% on a year-over-year basis. (Geely)
  • Volvo sold 179,506 cars in Q2 2019, a 5% increase on the same period a year earlier. (Volvo)
  • Issued a profit warning saying the net profits in the first half would be about (40)% down on 2018. (Geely)
  • Volvo’s Q2 2019 revenue of 67.2 billion SEK (about $7.1 billion), rose 2% on a year-over-year basis but to keep pace with the increase in unit sales, up 5% YoY. EBIT of 2.6 billion SEK (about $280 million) dropped (38)%. (Volvo)

June

  • Geely and LG Chem created a joint venture to produce batteries for electric vehicles. The initial investment is $188 million, implying that either operations will start out small or more money will quickly be needed. (Geely)
  • Volvo said it had developed a production vehicle “ready” for self-driving in collaboration with Uber. (Volvo)
  • LEVC revealed the long-awaited van based on the London Taxi. The firm claims best in class ownership costs, implying a price point substantially below that of the taxi, given the size of the load bay. (LEVC)

May

  • Lotus will unveil the Type 130 all-electric hypercar on 16th July and says the model will be limited to 130 examples and built at the Hethel, UK, factory. (Lotus)
  • Volvo invested in virtual reality company Arjo. (Volvo)
  • Volvo developed a new way of simulating crashes between cyclists and cars, to reduce accident severity. (Volvo)
  • Everything in Lynk&Co showrooms will be for sale, including sofas and coffee cups. (Automotive News)
  • Volvo wants to sell 10,000 cars in South Korea this year. (Korea Times)
  • Will use voice recognition from Nuance for in-car assistants. (Nuance)
  • The CEO of Group Lotus says Porsche is the brand’s benchmark and target, but is wary of copying everything, for example committing to motorsport for the sake of it. (Autocar)
  • Volvo started with a shortlist of 10 battery suppliers before narrowing to two. (Automotive News)
  • By 2020, Volvo will have sufficient battery capacity secured for plug-in hybrids to make up 25% of overall production, should there be customer demand. (Bloomberg)
  • Geely opened a new development centre in Germany and hopes to employ 500 people there soon. (Geely)
  • Volvo and Polestar signed “multi-billion dollar” battery supply agreements with CATL and LG Chem. (Volvo)
  • All-electric brand Polestar is setting up an engineering base in the UK. (Polestar)
  • Volvo is reportedly cutting staff in Sweden, starting with consultants. (Reuters)
  • Lotus wants to recruit 200 staff and increase annual sales to 5,000 units. (Telegraph)
  • Geely’s design head believes the design quality of Chinese automakers has overtaken western brands. (Deezen)

April

  • Geely’s all-electric Geometry brand claims 26,000 orders for the Geometry A model. (Top Gear)
  • Proton’s CEO says over 85% of the brand’s dealers are profitable, thanks to the recent Geely-sponsored product offensive. The firm also announced $455 million in funding from China Construction Bank. (China Daily)
  • Geely showed the Preface concept at Shanghai, suggesting the brand’s design language is moving much closer to subsidiary Volvo. (Geely)
  • Lotus revealed teaser images of the all-electric Type 130 hypercar, apparently planning to build less than 50. (Autocar)
  • Announced a new all-electric brand, Geometry, that intends to release 10 new vehicles by 2025. (Geely)
  • Kandi electric vehicles will be offered to around 300,000 Didi drivers via Didi’s leasing program. (Kandi)
  • Confirmed the Polestar 2 will be produced in Luqiao, China, alongside the Lynk&Co 01 and Volvo XC40. (Geely)
  • Geely have enlisted Ricardo to develop a new transmission for plug-in hybrid vehicles. (Green Car Congress)

Q1 2019 Earnings

  • Volvo sold 161,320 cars in Q1 2019, up 9.4% on prior year. (Volvo)
  • Volvo reported Q1 2019 revenue of 62.9 billion SEK (about $6.6 billion), up 10.7% on prior year and adjusted EBIT of 2.9 billion SEK (about $305 million), down (19.3)%. Cash spending on research and development jumped by 45%, about a quarter of which related to work for Polestar. (Volvo)

March

  • Formed a joint venture with Daimler that will own the Smart brand. Production will be based in China at a new factory that will start building cars in 2022. (Daimler)
  • Volvo’s CEO says 20% - 25% of the brands sales will be PHEVs by the end of 2019. (Automotive News)
  • Margins on electric cars will match those on internal combustion engine products by 2025 according to Volvo’s CEO, with the caveat that both vehicle types may make less money than today. (Reuters)
  • Volvo will start to install driver monitoring cameras in the early 2020s, aimed at reducing accidents from drink driving and distraction. (Volvo)
  • Geely reported financial figures for 2018. Revenue of 106.6 billion RMB (about $16 billion) was up 15% on 2017, despite unit sales increasing 20%. Net profit of 10.63 billion RMB (about $1.6 billion) rose 18%. (Geely)
  • Volvo restructured the leadership group, aiming to draw a distinction between traditional car making (e.g. factory builds and then franchise dealer retails) and emerging trends (e.g. factory sells or leases directly to the consumer. The CEO of Polestar will also no longer report to Volvo’s management. (Volvo)
  • Volvo will pay a dividend of about $300 million to shareholders (mainly Geely). (Volvo)
  • Lotus‘s recently appointed CEO is working on an expanded line-up for the future but will start with a new sportscar built on the existing architectures. He thinks Geely is prepared to invest billions in the right business plan. (FT)
  • Polestar’s US pricing already takes into account potential US import tariff increases, so the launch plan will be unaffected -- perhaps they could get cheaper. (Polestar)
  • Proton’s CEO expects the brand to turn a profit in 2019. (Malaysiakini)
  • Volvo might not sell Polestar electric cars in the USA if tariffs on Chinese imports are increased. (Reuters)

February

  • Volvo invested in ride hailing firm Zūm, which has a service aimed at ferrying children around. (Volvo)
  • Published pictures of the Polestar 2, the first all electric car from the brand. The starting price for the launch edition will be €59,000 but Polestar says that after that prices should drop to €39,000. (Polestar) The brand hopes to sell over 50,000 units annually according to the CEO. (Reuters)
  • Proton unveiled the new Persona B sized saloon. (Proton)
  • Volvo will impose a 180 kmh (just over 110mph) speed limit on all cars. Speed demons need to make their purchase before 2020 to pick up an unregulated model. (Volvo)
  • Showed off the GE11, the first vehicle from the new Geely New Energy brand. (Geely)
  • Volvo showed off a minor refresh to the XC90 large SUV. (Volvo)
  • Volvo issued a $215 million bond. (Volvo)
  • Volvo increased the battery size of plug-in hybrid vehicles. (Volvo)
  • Outgoing Daimler CEO Zetsche said that Daimler and Geely are discussing a broader cooperation, but declined to give any specific details. (Reuters)
  • Volvo will recall 167,000 XC60 vehicles to fix problems with the electric tailgate. (Reuters)
  • Volvo’s CEO said there is a lot of investor interest in Polestar and funding could be obtained via a private placement rather than IPO. (Economic Times of India)

January

  • Issued a statement denying that it was interested in buying FCA. (Geely)
  • Lotus announced a wide-ranging collaboration with Williams. Although the press release was framed in generic terms, specialist media are convinced it is all part of the plan to deliver a much-rumoured all-electric hypercar. (Lotus)
  • Opening a new Geely design office in Coventry, which could ultimately employ 100. (Geely)
  • Proton released pictures of the refreshed Iriz B car. (Proton)
  • The Kandi electric vehicles JV announced a deal to supply 300,000 electric vehicles to deliver ride hailing services in China. The expectation is that they will replace privately owned cars. (Kandi)
  • Volvo is recalling about 200,000 cars to fix potential fuel leaks. (Auto Express)
  • Volvo is not developing a direct replacement for the V40 and instead will do something more “creative”. (Autocar)
  • According to the website of a new Geely factory in Wuhan, China, Lotus-badged cars will be made there. (Reuters)
  • Spy shots of what look like a medium sized hatchback Lynk&Co vehicle out testing caused confusion after earlier stories that implied the next models would be large cars based on Volvo’s XC90 and S90. (Autocar)
  • Named a new CEO at taxi maker LEVC. (Geely)
  • Bloomberg said that Geely had sold half its stake in Daimler. Geely said it had not. (Geely)
  • The (taxi-making) LEVC division has delayed the development of a van derivative to the early 2020s. (Reuters)
  • Showed a silhouette of the first Geely-badged model to come from the CMA platform shared with Volvo. (Geely)

2018

FY & Q4 2018 Earnings

  • Volvo reported full year 2018 revenue of 252.7 billion SEK (about $27 billion), a 12.4% increase on 2017 and operating profit of 14.2 billion SEK (about $1.5 billion), up 0.9%. Volvo is concerned about pressure on margins in 2019. (Volvo)
  • Volvo sold 642,253 cars in 2018, an increase of 12.4% on 2017 with sales increasing in all major regions. (Volvo)
  • Geely and Lynk&Co sold 1,500,838 cars in 2018, some way short of the 1.58 million target for the year -- the 2019 target has been lowered to 1.51 million. Sales of Lynk&Co appear to have stumbled badly in December with the 01 model mysteriously dropping over (80)% from October and the 02 seemingly selling no units at all. (Geely)

December

  • Geely-controlled Saxo Bank plans to buy Dutch lender BinckBank. (Deal Street Asia)
  • Forming a joint venture with CATL to produce car batteries. (Geely)
  • The first Proton vehicle to use Geely underpinnings, the X70 SUV was launched by Malaysia’s prime minister who made a series of apparently supportive comments about Geely’s role but may still harbour ambitions for an independent Malaysian car company. (ABC News)
  • Lotus is rumoured to be planning a £2 million all-electric supercar codenamed Omega. (Autocar)
  • Within Geely’s November 2018 sales, there was a first month-over-month drop for Lynk&Co sales, despite a third product only recently launching. It remains to be seen whether this is an aberration. (Geely)
  • Volvo’s Californian dealers have reportedly asked the brand to end its “Care by Volvo” two-year flexible leasing (subscription) model saying it is in direct competition with them. (Automotive News)

November

  • Volvo’s CEO called plans by rivals to make money from selling customer and vehicle data the “wrong approach”. The firm instead plans to make money from the cars themselves. (Bloomberg)
  • Volvo is not currently looking at an IPO for Polestar and sees the future relationship between the two as affiliates rather than fully arm’s length. (Bloomberg)
  • Malaysia’s prime minister called for Proton to make cars for export saying Malaysians would not believe the vehicles were any good until they saw them being sold on international markets. (Malay Mail)
  • Issued a press release about Volvo’s collaboration with lidar developer Luminar in which Luminar’s CEO said the company’s lidar units repeatably demonstrated 250m range, allowing highway speeds. (Volvo)
  • Geely signed a cooperation agreement with China Telecom to work on future mobility projects. (Geely)
  • Volvo will use Ericsson’s connected vehicle services for the next five years. (Fleet Europe)
  • Postponed the production of Lynk&Co cars at the Volvo Ghent plant, citing economic volatility. (Reuters)
  • Unveiled the new Geely Jia Ji MPV. (Geely)
  • Geely Holding is working on a joint research project that aims to create supersonic trains. (Geely)
  • Volvo’s subscription service is proving so popular that the brand has starting rationing vehicles and there is now a waiting list into 2019. Although Volvo hasn’t disclosed figures, it says the scheme beat its first year target within four months and has been capped at 10% of vehicle sales (against around 15% demand). (Automotive News)

October

  • Volvo is partnering with Baidu to create customised, fully electric autonomous cars that will be sold by both companies in China. (Volvo)
  • Volvo’s deal to supply XC90 cars that will be used in autonomous ride-hailing by Uber is “back on track” according to the firm’s CEO. (FT)
  • Geely purchased a US racetrack (it had already been managing the site on a short-term basis). (Road and Track)
  • As rumoured, Daimler and Geely formed a “premium ride-hailing” joint venture that will use Mercedes-Benz cars, and in time possibly some of Geely’s offerings, for on-demand travel in Chinese cities. It isn’t yet clear how the service will integrate with Geely’s existing CaoCao ride hailing venture. (Daimler)
  • Volvo invested in charging firm FreeWire. (Volvo)
  • Lynk&Co might enter the US market by selling merchandise first and only putting cars on sale once the brand has become established. (Automotive News)
  • Hoping to raise €950 million to refinance debt resulting from the its Volvo AB stake. (Reuters)
  • Says that 50% of the Care by Volvo subscription users bought the service using their mobile phones. (Engadget)
  • Launched production of Geely vehicles at its factory in Tunisia. (Xinhua)
  • Reportedly in talks with Daimler to create a Chinese joint venture offering car sharing and ride hailing. (Just Auto)
  • Looking at an expansion of the Care by Volvo subscription service to include used vehicles. (CNET)
  • Buying two Geely-affiliated engine plants in China from local holding companies. (Reuters)

Q3 2018 Financial Results

  • Volvo reported Q3 2018 revenue of 56.8 billion SEK (~$6 billion), up 18% on a year earlier and operating profit of 1.8 billion SEK (~$200 million), down (50)% on the prior year -- blamed by Volvo on launch costs, higher tariffs and royalties. Volvo preferred to focus on the full year, where it expects to beat 2017. (Volvo)

September

  • Lotus is overhauling its headquarters. (Autocar)
  • Unveiled the cross country version of the V60 estate car. (Volvo)
  • Polestar is hoping to have 75 dealers globally soon after launch, with 10 in the USA. (Fortune)
  • Geely’s London Electric Vehicle Co subsidiary will put its new taxi-derived van into testing with fleets next year and expects to build 10,000 units at its new factory in 2020, rising to 22,000 per year by 2022. (Autocar)
  • Finalised its majority stake in Saxo Bank, appointing a new chairman and several board members. (Geely)
  • Issued a statement saying it had no intention of increasing the 9.69% Daimler stake. (Geely)
  • Volvo suspended production at its US car factory due to Hurricane Florence. (Bloomberg)
  • Asked for an exemption for the China-built Volvo XC60 from new US tariffs, dangling the possibility of future US production if sales could continue unabated whilst it ramps up the new South Caroline plant. (Reuters)
  • Appointed a new CEO for Lotus. (Lotus)
  • Volvo’s CEO said the company was delaying its IPO because market conditions are too volatile. (Reuters)
  • Toyota is reportedly in cooperation talks with Geely about sharing hybrid electric technology. (Euro News)
  • Volvo’s CEO had his contract extended to 2022. (Volvo)
  • Volvo unveiled the 360c autonomous concept car. Volvo says the 360c, with its lounge-like cabin, could become a viable alternative to short haul air travel. Onlookers who remember the Mercedes-Benz F015 might have a sense of déjà vu. (Volvo)
  • Proton announced that its new SUV will be called the X70. (Proton)

August

  • Will develop driver assistance systems for Geely branded cars with Smart Eye (Geely)
  • Unveiled the production version of the Lynk&Co 03. It looks virtually identical to the “concept” version. (Autocar)
  • Proton has reportedly signed an agreement with Al Hajj Motors to assemble and sell electric cars in Pakistan. (Times of Islamabad)
  • Geely and Proton signed a new strategic agreement that will likely lead to Proton-badged cars being built and sold in China. Proton are also hoping to access Geely’s electrification technology. The new agreement was signed with Malaysia’s prime minister -- who has recently suggested that Geely’s involvement in Proton could require a new Malaysian national champion to be founded -- looking on. (Geely)
  • Said its latest small crossover would be called Bin Yue in China and launched a competition to decide the name for international markets. (Geely)
  • Investors have reportedly indicated favourable support for a Volvo IPO that would value the brand at $30 billion, in line with Geely’s aspirations but higher than previously indicated. (Business Insider)
  • Reportedly close to investing £1.5 billion in Lotus, that would add models and new production and R&D facilities. Geely would also look to increase its ownership from the current level of 51%. (Bloomberg)

July

  • Released further technical specifications for the BMA platform, saying it can accommodate vehicles with wheelbases between 2550mm - 2700mm long and a width of 1500mm - 1600mm. The platform uses “nearly 100” modules to achieve commonality levels of up to 70% between vehicles. (Geely)
  • Initial investor feedback on Volvo’s IPO reportedly indicates a $12 billion - $18 billion range, rather than the $16 billion - $18 billion Geely had apparently been hoping for. Either would be a substantial return on the $1.8 billion Geely paid to Ford in 2010. (Deal Street Asia)
  • Will export XC60 SUVs to the USA from Europe rather than China in a bid to avoid tariffs. (Reuters)
  • Geely-owned Terrafugia said it was on track to launch its first flying car in 2019. (Terrafugia)
  • The Polestar 2 SUV will have a UK price of between £30,000 - £50,000 and range of up to 350 miles. Volvo has taken 600 orders for the Polestar 1, the company previously set a 500 units per year production target. (Autocar)
  • Announced a series of asset purchases in China between affiliates. (Gasgoo)
  • Announced a new modular platform for smaller Geely branded vehicles (sitting beneath the CMA platform led by Volvo) called BMA. Powertrain offerings include ICE, 48V and PHEV. (Geely)

Q2 2018 Financial Results

  • Reported first half revenue (excluding Volvo and Lynk&Co) of 53.7 billion RMB (about $7.9 billion). Reported profits of 6.7 billion RMB (about $1 billion) were up 54% on a year earlier. The company believes that it will beat its previous volume expectations for the full year, in part due to the strong performance of Lynk&Co products. (Geely)
  • Volvo reported Q2 2018 revenues of 66 billion SEK (about $7.5 billion), up 27% on the same period a year ago. EBIT of 4.2 billion SEK (about $470 million) was up 29% YoY. The company has reduced its R&D as a % of revenue to 4.1%. (Volvo)
  • Volvo sold 317,639 cars in the first half of 2018, a 14.4% increase on the same period in 2017, with improvements across regions. (Volvo)

June

  • Volvo sold 317,639 cars in the first half of 2018, a 14.4% increase on the same period in 2017, with improvements across regions. (Volvo)
  • Volvo launched a new mobility brand called M, initially it will offer car sharing services. (Volvo)
  • Selling its stake in ChinaHybrid System Co. (Gasgoo)
  • Volvo started production at its Charleston, USA, plant. The factory can produce up to 150,000 cars per year. (Volvo)
  • Swedish authorities reportedly told Volvo that it cannot carry out its planned self-driving testing program with “real” families due to the risks involved. The project was already severely delayed. (Autonomes Fahren)
  • Volvo invested in lidar company Luminar. Toyota previously said they will use the company’s products. (Volvo)
  • Volvo has set a goal of using recycled material for at least 25% of the plastic in its new cars from 2025. (Volvo)
  • Polestar returned as a sports sub-brand on mainstream vehicles under the “Polestar Engineered” banner. (Volvo)
  • Volvo announced a set of objectives for around 2025. It wants 50% of sales from fully electric cars, one third of sales to be autonomous, and for subscriptions to be responsible for half of retail sales. The company wants to have 5 million direct consumer relationships. (Volvo)
  • Lotus have a new CEO -- Geely insider Qingfeng Feng. (Autocar)

May

  • LEVC unveiled a new van derived from the recently launched PHEV black cab. (Autocar)
  • Announced an electrification strategy under the banner of Geely Intelligent Power, covering 48V, PHEV, BEV, alternate fuels and fuel cells. The company will launch a fuel cell vehicle by 2025 and “several” purely electric vehicles with a 500km+ range by 2020. Geely said it was aiming for a 15% fuel economy improvement from 48V, claiming it had “dared to do the impossible” (Magna have openly said 18% should be possible). (Geely)
  • Increasing capacity for XC40 in both Europe and China saying demand for the car surpassed “even our highest expectations”. (Volvo)
  • In a sign that preparations for Volvo’s IPO are hotting up, the company had an obligatory “life after Ford” article published. In particular, the decision to create a Volvo-specific architecture and powertrain line-up were praised as key pillars of the company’s renaissance; pedants will note the article says these actions were kicked off in 2008, when the company was still two years away from a sale to Geely. (Bloomberg)
  • Volvo said there will be no diesel version of the new S60 and the company “will no longer develop a new generation of diesel engines”. (Volvo)
  • Volvo’s CEO said the company had sufficient funds to invest in electrification and autonomous vehicles with or without an IPO. (Reuters)
  • Volvo’s CEO said plug-in hybrids were taking 15% of sales in vehicles where it was offered. The brand is targeting for 25% of sales (in certain markets) to use its subscription service “within five years”. He said that company was cutting back on ICE development, “you cannot invest money in even more advanced diesel engines and even more advanced gasoline engines… that money needs to go towards electrification”. (Automotive News)
  • Geely has reportedly selected three investment banks to advise on an IPO for Volvo with a target valuation of $16 billion to $30 billion. (Bloomberg)
  • German financial regulators decided that Geely’s acquisition of a near-10% stake in Daimler did not meet disclosure rules. Although penalties for breach can be severe, Geely appeared to regard the regulator’s findings as a retrospective technicality, that in any case mean the stake should only have been disclosed a day earlier. (Reuters)
  • Lotus’s CEO said that the company could continue using Toyota-sourced powertrains in vehicles under development, but implied Volvo will be the engine supplier for SUVs and crossovers and could take over as Lotus embraces electrification, although “there are some years left for combustion engines”. (Autocar)
  • Having previously announced Google’s Android would underpin the next-generation Sensus infotainment system, Volvo confirmed that Google apps will be embedded by design and provide the same level of functionality as vehicles equipped with Android Auto, but not requiring an Android-equipped phone. (Volvo)
  • Volvo cars will have data links with Volvo trucks (in Scandinavian countries) and share details of hazards and alerts encountered with the aim of improving emergency response and avoiding accidents. (Volvo)

April

  • Moody’s upgraded Volvo’s credit rating to Ba1. (Volvo)
  • Volvo announced that by 2025 it is targeting 50% of sales mix to be fully electric. The press release wasn’t clear on the exact nature of the goal -- the context implied this was a China-market target for heavily electrified vehicles (BEVs and PHEVs) whilst the headlines read as though the intent is for global sales to be 50% BEVs. (Volvo)
  • Geely’s design boss implied that Lotus will be launching more than one SUV. (Autocar)
  • Established a JV for 6 speed automatic transmissions with Aisin. Geely is taking a 40% share in the factory which will have a capacity of 400,000 units per year. (China Daily)
  • Geely’s CEO called for cooperation between carmakers, especially with regard to “proprietary digital platforms” and warned of the dangers of “silos”. (Bloomberg)
  • Daimler is reportedly interested in selling powertrain to Volvo and may even be open to buying a small stake in the company to show willingness to work with Geely. (Manager Magazin)
  • Volvo executives said that the company would not be entering new segments until after 2020 and that an XC50 was not in the current plan. (Autocar)
  • Daimler is exploring potential collaborations with new shareholder Geely. (Market Watch)

Q1 2018 Earnings

  • Volvo announced financial results for Q1 2018, sales and revenue were both up by over 14% but operating profit rose less strongly, by 3.6% on a year-over-year basis. Net income was down. (Volvo)
  • Volvo sold 147,407 cars in Q1 2018, a 14% increase on a year-over-year basis. (Volvo)

March

  • Lynk&Co revealed the 02 -- confusingly, its third vehicle, and that European sales will begin with a series of high-profile stores augmenting the main offering via its website. The first locations will be Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berln, Brussels and London. (Lynk&Co)
  • Lotus’s CEO talking about parts sharing with Volvo, says that the new SUV will likely be from Volvo’s platform and that the company is looking at ways to make-up for engines being no bigger than I4. (Autocar)
  • Volvo said that the Polestar 1, a plug-in hybrid sports car, would retail for over €130,000 -- the brand would prefer for customers to rent it instead. (Electrek)
  • Reportedly held talks with FCA about an investment before deciding on Daimler, a rumour which first emerged in August 2017 but was denied by the parties at the time. (Bloomberg)
  • Raised money to pay for its Volvo Group stake through a 12 month and five year loan. (Reuters)
  • A Reuters report explained how the Daimler stake was purchased without having to disclose the size of the holding until it was complete. (Reuters)
  • Volvo became the latest OEM to launch an investment fund. The California-based team will be headed by existing personnel and Volvo did not disclose the budget. (Volvo)
  • Volvo Cars’s CEO has not been proposed for re-election to the board of truckmaker Volvo Group because the other directors were annoyed about Geely’s stake in Daimler. (SCMP)

February

  • Geely’s CEO took a 9.7% Daimler stake -- larger than the 6% or so previously rumoured. (Manager Magazin)
  • Proton published an open letter making a series of concessions to help Malaysian dealers improve their profits. (Malay Mail Online)
  • Production of Polestar 1 hybrid cars might grow beyond 500 units per year if Volvo can find ways to increase capacity. (Automotive News)
  • Autocar magazine claimed that Volvo’s first all-electric car will be a hatchback, similar to the 40.2 concept. (Autocar)
  • Lotus’s CEO plans to launch two new sports cars by 2020 and an SUV by 2022. (Car Magazine)
  • Reportedly secured sufficient shares to take the 5% stake in Daimler mentioned before Christmas. (Handelsblatt)

January

  • Created a joint venture with VIA Motors (no relation to the ride-hailing app) to build hybrid and fully electric trucks. (VIA)
  • The rollout of new PHEV cabs by the London Electric Vehicle Company has been hampered by problems with the meter that determines the correct fare. (The Guardian)
  • Volvo will build Lynk&Co vehicles in Europe and the brand could get its own factory in future. (Caixin)
  • Will hope to benefit from a $156 million fund raising by electric car sharing start-up Caocao Zhuanche -- the company uses vehicles sourced exclusively from Geely. (China Money Network)
  • Proton was forced to deny rumours that it would begin accepting Bitcoin as a payment method. (Proton)

2017

2017 Full Year Earnings

  • Volvo cars reported 2017 financial results. Revenue of 210.9 billion SEK (about $26.1 billion) was up 16.6% compared with 2016, while profit of 14.1 billion SEK (about $1.75 billion) was up 27.7%. (Volvo)
  • Volvo reported 2017 sales of 571,577 units, an increase of 7% on a year-over-year basis. Sales were up in all major markets except the USA. Q4 sales were down YoY in EMEA. (Volvo)
  • Proton said that 2017 sales in its home market (Malaysia) were 70,991, a drop of (2)% on a year-over-year basis. The company said that expertise from Geely and Volvo had improved “quality points threefold”. (Proton)

December

  • Bought an 8.2% stake in truckmaker Volvo Group for $3.8 billion, Geely will get 15.6% voting rights. (Autocar)
  • Volvo has started giving autonomous-capable vehicles to 100 families in Sweden in order to monitor how they use the vehicles everyday. At first the full capabilities of the vehicle will not be available. The company says it will have a fully autonomous car commercially available by 2021. (Volvo)

November

  • Reportedly saw an offer to buy a shareholding of between 3% and 5% of Daimler through a discounted offering of new stock rebuffed. Daimler’s issue was supposedly the additional shares and it said it would be comfortable with a purchase of existing shares. (NASDAQ)
  • Lynk&Co began selling its first model and said that during a pre-launch sales event on 17th November it had sold the 6,000 allotted cars in under three minutes. (The Verge)
  • Investigating whether to manufacture Lynk&Co vehicles at Volvo plants in Belgium and the USA. (CNBC)
  • Rumoured to be considering a new product line-up for Lotus, including an SUV built off Volvo’s CMA platform (it isn’t quite clear how this will fit in with Lotus’s lightweight philosophy). Geely executives expressed a desire for the brand to be “ranked alongside Ferrari and Porsche”. (Autocar)
  • Volvo signed a non-exclusive supply agreement to supply “tens of thousands” of vehicles (the number was quoted as up to 24,000) to Uber between 2019 and 2021 for Uber to install its autonomous driving suite. Volvo said that it wants to be the supplier of choice for robo taxi services. (Volvo)
  • Started production of the XC40 small SUV in Belgium, saying it already has 13,000 orders. Reflecting Tesla’s contribution to automotive culture, the company was keen to emphasise its robot nicknamed “the Beast”. (Volvo)
  • Bought flying car maker Terrafugia and plans to launch the first product in 2019. (Ars Technica)
  • Released details of Lynk&Co intended product line-up. The brand is working towards three crossovers, an SUV, a sedan and an electric scooter. (Gasgoo)
  • Proton suppliers have reportedly been told to cut prices by 20%. Several are saying that they cannot compete with prices from Geely’s Chinese suppliers that they are now in competition with. (Free Malaysia Today)
  • The CEO of Lotus said that the company has a ten-year plan for new products and electrification, to be unveiled next year. Lotus will stay at its current sales level of around 1,500 cars per year for the next “two to three” years and then sales will rise. (Top Gear)
  • Geely Automobile Holdings will acquire several automotive components plants from its parent. (The Standard)

October

  • According to a Malaysian government minister, Proton’s new factory in Tanjung Malam will have a capacity of 400,000 vehicles by 2022 and produce Volvo and Geely badged products alongside Proton vehicles. He said that the company plans to export 200,000 Protons cars to China and ASEAN markets. (New Straits Times)
  • The London Electric Vehicle company lost a case to prevent Metrocab selling an electric taxi in London. LEV claimed that the vehicle’s exterior was too similar to its own design. (Cab Trade News)
  • Having announced earlier in the year that Polestar was to become a standalone all-electric brand, the company has now said that there will be a three car line-up, with all vehicles built in Chengdu, China. The first product will be the Polestar 1, a carbon-bodied, 600hp 2+2 coupe range-extended PHEV. The factory will be completed in 2018 with first sales in 2019 and the vehicle will be available on subscription, rather than for purchase (it isn’t clear what will happen at the end of the lease period). The Polestar 2 will be a mid-sized BEV (i.e. S40/60 sized) launching in late 2019 and the Polestar 3 will be a BEV SUV. (Volvo)
  • Said that it was spending €640 million on launching Polestar and that it expects 40% of global car sales to be all-electric in the next 20 years. (Volvo)
  • Volvo’s CEO said in response to rumours of a small car program that the company was in all the segments it wanted to be in and that “small cars are not on the radar right now”. (Autocar)
  • Will increase its stake in Danish company Saxo bank from around 30 % to 51.5%. (Reuters)
  • Opened a start-up incubator called MobilityXLab in cooperation with Autoliv, Zenuity (a JV between Volvo and Autoliv), Volvo Trucks and Ericsson. (Autoliv)
  • Volvo’s Q3 sales of 135,831 vehicles were up 10.6% on a year-over-year basis, with gains across regions. The highlight was 35% growth in China YoY. On a YTD basis, sales are up 9%. (Volvo)

Q3 2017 Earnings

  • Volvo reported Q3 financial results. Revenue of 48.9 billion SEK was up 18.4% on a year-over-year basis. Operating profit of 3.7 billion SEK was up 77.5% YoY. (Volvo)

September

  • Volvo officially announced the additional production line and investment in the South Carolina plant it still has under construction. The move was leaked by sources last week but mis-reported the 1,900 additional jobs as 2,500. (Volvo)
  • Proton’s new CEO said that he wanted the company to be a “top three ASEAN brand in the next 10 years”. His immediate focus is on a 10 week study of product planning, R&D, quality and procurement. Geely’s joint venture partner expects Proton to break even within three years and be profitable in five years. (New Straits Times)
  • Volvo said that its new XC40 crossover will be available with a “hassle free” subscription package that includes all costs, except fuel, into a single monthly payment and provides a new car every 24 months. The scheme, called “Care by Volvo” will be available in selected markets including USA, Germany, UK, Italy and Spain. (Volvo)
  • Declined to comment on stories from unnamed sources that Volvo is planning to increase investment in the South Carolina plant it is still constructing. The new plan would reportedly see a second production line added and 2,500 new employees on top of the 2,000 that are currently being recruited. (Bloomberg)
  • Reportedly in talks with Indian company JSW Group about a $1 billion joint venture that would produce electric vehicles. (Money Control)
  • Proton’s CEO will step down at the end of September and Geely will choose their replacement. (The Star)
  • Volvo said that it was buying Luxe, a premium valet and concierge service. The acquisition will bring key staff and the Luxe’s existing technology into Volvo, the company appears to have no interest in continuing to offer the service. (Volvo)

August

  • Volvo declared “the end of clutter”. Sadly, the search for perfect order continues as it transpired that it was no more than an attention-grabbing headline to highlight improved door pocket storage. (Volvo)
  • Denied it was interested in buying FCA. (Reuters)

July

  • Ford is reportedly preparing a case against Geely’s Lynk & Co brand saying that it sounds too similar to Lincoln. Ford has a mid-November deadline for filing a case. (CCFA)
  • Volvo reported July sales of 44,278 units, up 6.2% on a year-over-year basis. Sales are up 7.9% YTD. (Volvo)
  • Sources within Geely and Volvo said that arrangements for Geely vehicles to use Volvo sourced powertrains had been firmed up and the first product to be shared would be a 1.5 litre turbocharged gasoline engine (still under development), with sharing of the recently launched 2.0 litre engine to come later. (Reuters)
  • Geely, Volvo and Lynk & Co (all parts of Geely) agreed to collaborate on vehicle architecture and engine technologies. Although billed as a way of bringing electrified vehicles to market, the sharing seems far broader in scope. It was also announced that Volvo will become a shareholder in Lynk & Co. (More…)
  • London Taxi Company re-launched itself as London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) and displayed its initial product. As with (Geely owned) Volvo, the company has chosen to make much play on the use of electrified branding in its powertrain although the vehicles are PHEVs rather than pure BEVs. It remains to be seen whether or not this blurring of technology and perception will be sustainable in the long term. The car will cost about £50,000 -- an uplift of some £8,000 on the outgoing diesel model. This is more of an increase in price than is found on many PHEVs compared to diesel powered siblings. (More…)
  • Volvo announced that it will cease production and sale of vehicles powered only by internal combustion engines in 2019. Although the news was billed as Volvo converting to electrification, the company’s near-term ambitions are more modest and the announcement is about 100% penetration of 48V mild hybrid systems / PHEV and BEV on all new products that launch after 2019. In practice, vehicles will continue to be produced with ICE-only powertrain into the 2020s until they are replaced. In separate comments, Volvo also said that a 48V gasoline engine will be around equivalent cost to a (Stage 6.2) diesel engine. (More…)
  • Geely announced that it was buying flying car start-up Terrafugia. (More…)

Q2 2017 Earnings

  • Volvo announced first half 2017 financial results. Operating profit of about $800 million was up 21% on a year-over-year basis whilst revenue of about $12 billion was up 17% YoY. (More…)
  • Reported Volvo sales figures for the first half of the year. Sales of 277,641 vehicles was an 8.2% increase on a year-over-year basis. Increases in China more than offset share losses in the Americas. (More…)

June

  • Announced that the recently formed partnership with Autoliv (called Zenuity) to develop autonomous cars will work with Nvidia, is targeting a Level 4 autonomous car by 2021. (More…)
  • Volvo announced that Polestar, previously its performance vehicle sub-brand, will become a standalone electrified performance brand with its own management team. (More…)
  • Geely’s start-up electric only brand Lynk & Co will reportedly only offer 10 variants of its vehicles, with no option lists and with the same price across European countries. (More…)
  • Volvo will acquire Swedish rental car company First Rent A Car. (More…)
  • Volvo signed a new €1.3 billion revolving credit facility, replacing an earlier €660 million agreement. (More…)
  • Volvo said that it will launch a Volvo branded home charger for EVs. The charger is a re-packaged AeroVironment unit. (More…)
  • A Malaysian government minister said that as part of its purchase of a stake in Proton, Geely would be making Malaysia an export hub for Volvo sales to ASEAN. He said that Geely had agreed to start production on the site of an existing Proton plant within five years. (..)

May

  • Volvo reported May 2017 sales results. Total sales of 47,247 vehicles was up 12.2% year-over-year. On a YTD basis, sales are up 8.9%. (..)
  • Zhejiang Geely (major shareholder in Geely Automotive, but not the HK listed company itself) reached a final agreement with Malaysian company DRB-Hicom on the sale of Proton stock. Under the deal, Zhejiang Geely will take a 49.9% stake in Proton and become the exclusive foreign strategic partner for the brand. It also obtains majority control of UK brand Lotus, with a 51% stake. (..)
  • London Taxi Company announced a partnership with Chargemaster to provide at-home charging units for buyers of LTC’s new plug-in hybrid taxi. (..)
  • Volvo’s CEO said that the company will likely not develop any “new generation” diesel engines. He said that the company would make upgrades to the existing architecture, launched in 2013, that would probably allow them to remain in production until about 2023. (..)
  • Volvo cars said that it would begin production in India with the aim of doubling its market share. The production will use Volvo Trucks’s infrastructure, but no exact details of how this will work were supplied. (..)
  • Media speculated that the sale process for Proton is reaching a close. Geely is one of the two final bidders. (..)
  • Volvo’s CEO said that the company was updating its business model due to the changing business environment and that other companies needed to do likewise. In particular he cited the consumer desire for “safer, more sustainable and convenient cars” and that Volvo recognised the limitations of the internal combustion engine. (..)
  • Said that it will build a new R&D centre in Hangzhou, China at a cost of around €830 million. Geely also said that it is aiming for Level 3 automation of vehicles by 2019. (..)
  • Purchased a 30% stake in Danish bank Saxo bank, primarily from the co-founder. Geely hopes to find synergies that allow development of financial services. (..)
  • Volvo Cars received a rating upgrade from Standard & Poors. The rating moved rom BB with a positive outlook to BB+ with a stable outlook. (..)

April

  • London Taxis International are celebrating the final production of TX4 models. These are intended to be the company’s final diesel powered cars and in future the range will be 100% electrified (initially using gasoline hybrids). (..)
  • Volvo reported April sales of 46,895 cars, an increase of 10.5% year-over-year. (..)
  • New brand Lynk & Co will postpone its launch date to 2019 with its first sites being in Berlin. (..)
  • Volvo said that its first electric car will launch in 2019 and be produced in China with the global market being served via Chinese exports. (..)
  • CEO of Volvo North America said that driverless cars will result in lower vehicle production. He was quoted as saying “We’re building factories as we speak as if nothing will change. I don’t think we have the right answer yet because everyone is building”. (..)

Q1 2017 Earnings

  • Volvo reported Q1 profits of 3.5 billion SEK, an 11% year-over-year increase. Retail sales of 129,148 vehicles were up 7.1% year-over-year. (..)
  • March sales of 86,952 units, up 74% year-over-year (Source)

March

  • Reported a fire in a battery laboratory in Gothenburg, resulting in the evacuation of 150 employees - production was not affected.
  • The new London Taxi Company plant in Coventry (capacity 20k units, 1,000 employees) was inaugurated

March

  • Proton’s CEO expects the brand to turn a profit in 2019. (Malaysiakini)
  • Volvo might not sell Polestar electric cars in the USA if tariffs on Chinese imports are increased. (Reuters)

February

  • Volvo invested in ride hailing firm Zūm, which has a service aimed at ferrying children around. (Volvo)
  • Published pictures of the Polestar 2, the first all electric car from the brand. The starting price for the launch edition will be €59,000 but Polestar says that after that prices should drop to €39,000. (Polestar) The brand hopes to sell over 50,000 units annually according to the CEO. (Reuters)
  • Proton unveiled the new Persona B sized saloon. (Proton)
  • Volvo will impose a 180 kmh (just over 110mph) speed limit on all cars. Speed demons need to make their purchase before 2020 to pick up an unregulated model. (Volvo)
  • Showed off the GE11, the first vehicle from the new Geely New Energy brand. (Geely)
  • Volvo showed off a minor refresh to the XC90 large SUV. (Volvo)
  • Volvo issued a $215 million bond. (Volvo)
  • Volvo increased the battery size of plug-in hybrid vehicles. (Volvo)
  • Outgoing Daimler CEO Zetsche said that Daimler and Geely are discussing a broader cooperation, but declined to give any specific details. (Reuters)
  • Volvo will recall 167,000 XC60 vehicles to fix problems with the electric tailgate. (Reuters)
  • Volvo’s CEO said there is a lot of investor interest in Polestar and funding could be obtained via a private placement rather than IPO. (Economic Times of India)

January

  • Issued a statement denying that it was interested in buying FCA. (Geely)
  • Lotus announced a wide-ranging collaboration with Williams. Although the press release was framed in generic terms, specialist media are convinced it is all part of the plan to deliver a much-rumoured all-electric hypercar. (Lotus)
  • Opening a new Geely design office in Coventry, which could ultimately employ 100. (Geely)
  • Proton released pictures of the refreshed Iriz B car. (Proton)
  • The Kandi electric vehicles JV announced a deal to supply 300,000 electric vehicles to deliver ride hailing services in China. The expectation is that they will replace privately owned cars. (Kandi)
  • Volvo is recalling about 200,000 cars to fix potential fuel leaks. (Auto Express)
  • Volvo is not developing a direct replacement for the V40 and instead will do something more “creative”. (Autocar)
  • According to the website of a new Geely factory in Wuhan, China, Lotus-badged cars will be made there. (Reuters)
  • Spy shots of what look like a medium sized hatchback Lynk&Co vehicle out testing caused confusion after earlier stories that implied the next models would be large cars based on Volvo’s XC90 and S90. (Autocar)
  • Named a new CEO at taxi maker LEVC. (Geely)
  • Bloomberg said that Geely had sold half its stake in Daimler. Geely said it had not. (Geely)
  • The (taxi-making) LEVC division has delayed the development of a van derivative to the early 2020s. (Reuters)
  • Showed a silhouette of the first Geely-badged model to come from the CMA platform shared with Volvo. (Geely)