Geely group sales exceed 2.1 million units in 2020 – Geely Auto, Proton, Volvo PHEVs were bright spots –

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (ZGH) has announced that its total group sales exceeded 2.1 million units in 2020. Under the holding group are three subsidiary units – Geely Auto Group, Volvo Car Group and Geely New Energy Commercial Vehicle Group – and eight brands.

Over 2.1 million is a good result for the Geely group as 2020 was a year dominated by the global coronavirus pandemic and many parts of the world had work stoppage to control the spread of Covid-19, including its home market of China.

Geely says that its brands performed resiliently amid the volatility of 2020 and “in the second half of the year, our brands saw a strong return to growth compared to the same period in the previous year”. ZGH did not share the exact 2020 sales figure beyond “exceeded 2.1m”, so perhaps the final tally was just shy of the 2019 total of 2.178 million units. Still a strong result with context.

The brands within Geely Auto Group – which are Geely Auto, Lynk & Co, Geometry, Proton and Lotus – returned to growth, partly through strategic initiatives including utilisation of the group’s latest modular architecture based models and global expansion efforts.

Geely Auto – which Hong Kong-listed holding company includes Lynk & Co and new EV brand Geometry – reported sales of 1.32 million units in 2020, increasing market share and retaining its position as the best-selling domestic brand in China for the fourth consecutive year. Geely also sold its 10 millionth vehicle last year, becoming the first Chinese brand to reach that mark. New models launched in 2020 included the Preface a.k.a. Xing Rui and Icon SUV.

Lynk & Co, the premium brand of the division, set new monthly sales records in the second half of the year and officially entered the European market with its first Lynk & Co Club in Amsterdam. The brand also unveiled its first fully electric concept model based on the new Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA), the Zero. Geometry, the standalone EV brand, launched the Geometry C crossover with up to 550 km range.

Over to Proton, which Geely holds 49.9% stake in. The group says that the Malaysian brand “performed exceptionally” in spite of Covid-19 and movement restrictions in our country, growing 8.8% year-on-year and increasing its market share. Proton launched the X50 at the tail-end of 2020, and maintains its mission to be the top brand in Malaysia and top three in the ASEAN region.

Finally, Lotus, which Geely took majority control of when it invested in Proton. The British sports car company continued to make “significant investments” in its Hethel HQ, and internationally in operations and in developing its global dealer network. Sales rose 4% in 2020.

Moving on to the Volvo Car Group, which recovered from a challenging first half of 2020 with its strongest second-half sales performance in the company’s history. For the full year, Volvo saw sales decline by 6%, but outperformed many of its competitors with total sales of more than 660,000 units, gaining market share in its main sales regions.

The Swedish brand made significant progress in its drive towards 50% of global sales from electrified vehicles, with deliveries of “Recharge” electrified models more than doubling. In Europe, Recharge models comprised more than 29% of sales, making Volvo a regional leader for plug-in cars. In the US, the brand was the market leader for premium plug-in hybrids.

Over at the full electric brand Polestar, deliveries of the Polestar 2 coupe crossover EV started in the second half of 2020 in Europe and China. The brand’s first US deliveries started this month. The first Polestar Spaces outlets opened in major urban centres including London, Gothenburg, Shanghai, Beijing, New York and Los Angeles. Currently, there are more than 40 Polestar Spaces globally.

Lastly, the Geely New Energy Commercial Vehicle Group, established in 2016 with Farizon Auto and London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) as its arms. In 2020, Farizon launched the rather strange-looking FX pick-up truck in China, which is essentially the Geely Boyue Pro SUV with a mini bed hanging out at the rear.

The CV brand also completed several deals to supply its new hydrogen fuel cell buses to several cities in China. Globally, the brand formed new R&D and distribution partnership with leading companies in the Middle East.

LEVC, previously known as the London Taxi Company that made the famous black cabs, started deliveries of its new range-extended zero-emission light vans in late 2020. It’s quite clever and very high on utility – check out the LEVC VN5 here.

This year will see all brands under ZGH “remain committed to introducing new electrified models, exploring innovative business models and increasing cross-industry collaborations”. The Geely group will continue to expand globally, entering new markets and forming new global partnerships, the statement read.

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