ITALY – Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. plans to start selling Chinese-made vehicles in Italy in 2012, after preparing to enter into the U.K. market, according to a report in Italian Motori Corriere
Geely Italy will be headquartered in Borgomanero Novara, and Gianluca Gregis will be appointed its CEO, said the report.
In Italy, Geely plans to set up an online car sales platform and build more than 100 service centers there in the first year. In the future, the number of service centers and dealerships will be increased to over 300, and investment for customer service business will exceed €3 million ($3.88 million), according to Gregis.
Geely expects sales in Italy to reach between 500 and 1,000 units in 2012, and it is still focusing on developing countries, said Victor Yang, spokesman of Geely. “We still have a long way to go before we can even attempt to take a big bite out of an advanced market like the U.K or Italy,” added Yang.
Geely will bring in its European version of the Emgrand EC7, a midsize 4-door sedan, initially with 1.5L 105hp and 1.8L 140hp gasoline-engine options, followed by the EC7-RV, a hatchback variant of the sedan. The Emgrand EC7 basic will wear a price tag of €12,000, said the company.
Geely Emgrand EC7 achieved a five-star safety rating in the China NCAP crash test and recently scored a four-star in the Euro NCAP crash test.
Geely will also provide warranty service of 5 years/100,000 miles to the Western Europe market, said the company.
According to Gregis, in addition to the EC7 sedan and hatch, other small cars from the Geely lineup will be introduced to the Italian market within the next few years.