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. The company also has shareholdings in Daimler, Volvo Trucks and Proton. This page contains research on Geely's activities and strategy.

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

2018

August

  • 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

  • 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