Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (Geely Holding) has announced that aggregate sales across its three automotive subsidiary units – Geely Auto Group, Volvo Car Group and Geely New Energy Commercial Vehicle Group – reached over 2.178 million units in 2019, which marks flat 0.93% year-on-year growth (2018: 2.15 million units). It is to be noted that the performance comes amid a global market downturn. New energy vehicles saw especially strong growth with 167,507 green passenger and commercial vehicles sold by Geely Holding brands in 2019, a 50.6% increase from the previous year.
On December 8, Geely and Mercedes-Benz formally established the global joint venture ‘smart Automobile Co’ for the smart brand after receiving the regulatory approvals.
SUVs and crossovers lead the charge
The Group says its brands including Geely Auto, Lynk & CO, Geometry, Proton and Lotus found stability in a challenging market environment throughout 2019. The Group maintained a balanced product development matrix with SUVs and crossovers making up slightly above 50% of all vehicles sold, while sedans and MPVs made up the rest. Geely Auto Group’s combined sales of electrified vehicles, including pure electric, plug-in and mild hybrid vehicles grew by 68.5% to 113,067 units.
In China, Geely Auto including Lynk & Co and Geometry reported 2019 sales of 1,361,560 units, retaining its position as the best-selling Chinese brand for the third consecutive year.
The Group’s premium brand, Lynk & Co second full year of sales reached a new high of 128,606 units, an increase of 6.4% YoY. In 2020, the brand will officially enter the European market, opening up a new chapter in the Group’s global development.
In 2019, Geely Auto Group launched its standalone high-end pure electric brand Geometry and its first model, the Geometry A. The brand has committed itself to launching a new pure electric model every year and is preparing to launch their second model codenamed GE13 in 2020.
Proton Cars managed under Geely Auto Group as part of a 49.9% partnership with DRB-HICOM saw significant progress in their revitalisation with the brand returning to second place in its market with total sales of 100,821 units in 2019, a 55.7% YoY increase. The Malaysian national brand’s success was fueled by the popularity of their Proton X70 SUV based on Geely Auto’s best-selling Bo Yue model (X7 Sport and Atlas in global markets) and their newly updated lineup. Local production of the Proton X70 is set to begin in 2020 along with the launch of new jointly developed models.
Lotus Cars concluded 2019 with strong sales performance in key markets and a 12% revenue increase year on year. Japan became the sportscar maker's biggest global market in 2019, with sales growth of 4%, followed closely by the UK and the USA, with Germany, Italy, UAE and China also making up key top ten markets for Lotus. The year also saw Lotus introduce the new electric Evija hyper car to international acclaim as the world's most powerful production car, and make significant investments in facilities at the company's UK HQ and internationally in operations and in developing the global dealer network.
Volvo Car Group once again set a new global sales record in 2019, breaking the 700,000 sales milestone for the first time since the company was founded in 1927. Since joining Geely Holding Group, Volvo brand sales have doubled. The company’s global sales rose 9.8% to 705,452 cars in 2019, compared with the same period the year before, with solid growth in all markets globally. The brand saw strong demand for its electrified products, registering 45,933 hybrid models in 2019, a year-on-year increase of 22.9%.
Geely New Energy Commercial Vehicle Group, established in 2016 as a strategic addition to Geely Holding’s portfolio, has quickly expanded its product line-up through its Farizon Auto and London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) brands. The commercial vehicle unit is steadily expanding globally by forming strategic partnerships and opening new markets for its green commercial products.
In 2019, Farizon launched several green commercial vehicle models including the world’s first M100 methanol heavy truck, hydrogen fuel cell buses, 5G equipped pure electric city buses, and ranged extended light trucks. With a robust product portfolio, Farizon Auto has begun its global expansion signing strategic partnerships in Thailand and Korea.
LEVC unveiled its new range extended zero emission capable light van due for launch in Q4 2020 and continued to grow export sales of its new TX taxi and shuttle variant. In the second full year of sales for the purpose-built, range-extended zero emission capable TX, LEVC saw sales nearly double from the previous year.
CaoCao Ride Hailing, a Geely Holding invested mobility service has expanded aggressively across China since its establishment in mid-2015. As of the end of 2019 the service is now operating in over 50 cities within China. The platform became the second largest ride hailing company and fastest growing B2C ride-hailing service in the Chinese market. Since starting operations, CAOCAO drivers have saved more than 360 million litres of fuel using pure electric vehicles, leading to more than 730,000 tons in reduced carbon emission. The service has started expanding globally with test operations in Paris beginning in 2020.