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Found 14 results

  1. Drew Dowdell

    SMART to Live On

    We recently reported that Daimler could possibly kill off the SMART brand after years of losing money. One of our own suggestions was that SMART expand into a regular car brand instead of staying in just the micro-car segment. Well, things change quickly in this industry. Yesterday, Daimler paired with Chinese manufacturer Geely in a 50-50 joint venture to bring the next generation of SMART vehicles to China. Part of that expansion will be a move up into the sub-compact market, a fast-growing market in China. SMART will remain an electric car brand and will be a joint development between the two companies. Though not disclosed at this time, it is possible that SMART will use the platform being jointly developed with BMW for its forthcoming i2 car. The current SMART cars are on a joint-venture platform shared with the Renault Twingo. Renault has not expressed an interest in renewing that partnership with Daimler for the next generation of cars. Currently, the ForTwo is built in Hambach Germany. After 2022, that factory is slated to build Mercedes EQ cars.
  2. We recently reported that Daimler could possibly kill off the SMART brand after years of losing money. One of our own suggestions was that SMART expand into a regular car brand instead of staying in just the micro-car segment. Well, things change quickly in this industry. Yesterday, Daimler paired with Chinese manufacturer Geely in a 50-50 joint venture to bring the next generation of SMART vehicles to China. Part of that expansion will be a move up into the sub-compact market, a fast-growing market in China. SMART will remain an electric car brand and will be a joint development between the two companies. Though not disclosed at this time, it is possible that SMART will use the platform being jointly developed with BMW for its forthcoming i2 car. The current SMART cars are on a joint-venture platform shared with the Renault Twingo. Renault has not expressed an interest in renewing that partnership with Daimler for the next generation of cars. Currently, the ForTwo is built in Hambach Germany. After 2022, that factory is slated to build Mercedes EQ cars. View full article
  3. Monday saw a major bombshell report come out stating that multiple Chinese automakers were considering buying Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. In fact, a well-known automaker put out a bid earlier this month, which was subsequently turned down. Today, one of the Chinese automakers rumored to buy FCA said they did place an offer on the table. According to Reuters, Geely Automobile’s executive director Gui Shengyue rebutted claims that his company was the one to place the bid. "We don't have such plan at the moment," said Shengyue. He would go on to say that "a foreign acquisition would be complicated," but did not elaborate. Sources tell the news service some of the complications would deal with the current political climate in the U.S. and regulations. Geely and FCA held initial talks late last year according to a source, without going into detail what the talks dealt with. The source goes on to say that Geely is no longer interested in FCA, noting that the company had purchased a significant stake into Malaysian automaker Proton a few months ago. That possibly leaves three automakers that we know of in the running - Dongfeng, Great Wall, and Guangzhou. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Reuters View full article
  4. Monday saw a major bombshell report come out stating that multiple Chinese automakers were considering buying Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. In fact, a well-known automaker put out a bid earlier this month, which was subsequently turned down. Today, one of the Chinese automakers rumored to buy FCA said they did place an offer on the table. According to Reuters, Geely Automobile’s executive director Gui Shengyue rebutted claims that his company was the one to place the bid. "We don't have such plan at the moment," said Shengyue. He would go on to say that "a foreign acquisition would be complicated," but did not elaborate. Sources tell the news service some of the complications would deal with the current political climate in the U.S. and regulations. Geely and FCA held initial talks late last year according to a source, without going into detail what the talks dealt with. The source goes on to say that Geely is no longer interested in FCA, noting that the company had purchased a significant stake into Malaysian automaker Proton a few months ago. That possibly leaves three automakers that we know of in the running - Dongfeng, Great Wall, and Guangzhou. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Reuters
  5. Chinese automaker Geely has introduced a new global brand, Lynk & Co., and their first model, an SUV developed alongside with Volvo in Berlin tonight. Geely's hopes for this new brand is to "disrupt the automobile industry and redesign the process of buying, owning and using a car". The SUV called the 01 looks like a Porsche Cayenne up front and possibly Volvo along the side. Power will come from a hybrid system comprised of a 1.5L three-cylinder engine and electric motor. Other engines options will be announced at a later time. Transmissions include a manual and dual-clutch automatic. The 01 uses Volvo's CMA (Compact Modular Architecture) platform - something we'll be seeing in the near future with Volvo's upcoming 40-Series. But the big story with Lynk & Co isn't the 01, it is everything around it. First, Lynk & Co will sell their vehicles either online or at select store locations. A small number of trims will be offered for each to model to help keep costs down. Prices will be fixed in all markets and buyers will have their new vehicle delivered to their home. If servicing needs to take place, Lynk & Co will pick up the vehicle. Second, Lynk owners can make money by sharing their vehicle. A share button in the infotainment system allows an owner to grant a shared key to others to drive the vehicle. Third, Lynk is giving developers an open application programming interface to develop in-car applications. Lynk says the likes of Microsoft, Ericsson, and Alibaba are helping out with building the infrastructure needed for this. Geely plans on launching Lynk & Co next year in China, with Europe and the U.S. following in 2018. There will be more models down the line (02, 03, etc) such as a sedan. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Roadshow
  6. Chinese automaker Geely has introduced a new global brand, Lynk & Co., and their first model, an SUV developed alongside with Volvo in Berlin tonight. Geely's hopes for this new brand is to "disrupt the automobile industry and redesign the process of buying, owning and using a car". The SUV called the 01 looks like a Porsche Cayenne up front and possibly Volvo along the side. Power will come from a hybrid system comprised of a 1.5L three-cylinder engine and electric motor. Other engines options will be announced at a later time. Transmissions include a manual and dual-clutch automatic. The 01 uses Volvo's CMA (Compact Modular Architecture) platform - something we'll be seeing in the near future with Volvo's upcoming 40-Series. But the big story with Lynk & Co isn't the 01, it is everything around it. First, Lynk & Co will sell their vehicles either online or at select store locations. A small number of trims will be offered for each to model to help keep costs down. Prices will be fixed in all markets and buyers will have their new vehicle delivered to their home. If servicing needs to take place, Lynk & Co will pick up the vehicle. Second, Lynk owners can make money by sharing their vehicle. A share button in the infotainment system allows an owner to grant a shared key to others to drive the vehicle. Third, Lynk is giving developers an open application programming interface to develop in-car applications. Lynk says the likes of Microsoft, Ericsson, and Alibaba are helping out with building the infrastructure needed for this. Geely plans on launching Lynk & Co next year in China, with Europe and the U.S. following in 2018. There will be more models down the line (02, 03, etc) such as a sedan. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Roadshow View full article
  7. Volvo's owner, Geely is planning to enter Europe and U.S. in the coming years. Reuters reports that Geely will building a new crossover based on the Compact Modular Architecture - a platform that Geely and Volvo have been working together. Along with new engine technology, this car will launch in China in 2017. The crossover will then head into several Europe markets a year later, followed by the U.S. in due time. "With the CMA car, Li wants to tell the world we're ready for the big time. We're ready to break into Europe and the U.S.," a source told Reuters. The new crossover was designed with the U.S. market in mind. But before Geely plans on sending it to the U.S., it will sell the crossover in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Britain, and Eastern Europe. "Those markets, Britain in particular, are open to foreign cars, while northern Europe, France and Germany are not," a source said. While the Chinese market will get a gasoline variant, Europe and the U.S. will get a alternative-fuel model, possibly a plug-in hybrid. The goal with this is to make Geely seen as a maker of affordable, high-tech cars. "It's an effort to burnish our brand before we bring out more mainstream gasoline-fueled cars to Europe and eventually to the U.S.," Source: Reuters View full article
  8. Volvo's owner, Geely is planning to enter Europe and U.S. in the coming years. Reuters reports that Geely will building a new crossover based on the Compact Modular Architecture - a platform that Geely and Volvo have been working together. Along with new engine technology, this car will launch in China in 2017. The crossover will then head into several Europe markets a year later, followed by the U.S. in due time. "With the CMA car, Li wants to tell the world we're ready for the big time. We're ready to break into Europe and the U.S.," a source told Reuters. The new crossover was designed with the U.S. market in mind. But before Geely plans on sending it to the U.S., it will sell the crossover in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Britain, and Eastern Europe. "Those markets, Britain in particular, are open to foreign cars, while northern Europe, France and Germany are not," a source said. While the Chinese market will get a gasoline variant, Europe and the U.S. will get a alternative-fuel model, possibly a plug-in hybrid. The goal with this is to make Geely seen as a maker of affordable, high-tech cars. "It's an effort to burnish our brand before we bring out more mainstream gasoline-fueled cars to Europe and eventually to the U.S.," Source: Reuters
  9. While the promise of Chinese automakers entering the U.S. marketplace hasn't happened yet, the advent of Chinese-built vehicle could. A senior Volvo executive told Reuters that the Chinese-built long-wheelbase version of the S60 (S60L) will be exported to U.S. for the 2015 model year. A Volvo spokesman confirmed that the S60L would be coming to the U.S., but a timeline hasn't been set. Why is Volvo exporting vehicles from China? Money. The executive explained that the relationship between the U.S. dollar and Chinese yuan is less tumultuous than the dollar to euro (Sweden). "The dollar and the yuan have the best relationship, a more stable relationship than the euro and the dollar," said the executive. By exporting vehicles from China, Volvo expects the degree of risk of sudden currency changes to decrease. The U.S. isn't the only country being looked at for having vehicles exported from China. Russia is another country being looked at as well. Source: Reuters William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  10. While the promise of Chinese automakers entering the U.S. marketplace hasn't happened yet, the advent of Chinese-built vehicle could. A senior Volvo executive told Reuters that the Chinese-built long-wheelbase version of the S60 (S60L) will be exported to U.S. for the 2015 model year. A Volvo spokesman confirmed that the S60L would be coming to the U.S., but a timeline hasn't been set. Why is Volvo exporting vehicles from China? Money. The executive explained that the relationship between the U.S. dollar and Chinese yuan is less tumultuous than the dollar to euro (Sweden). "The dollar and the yuan have the best relationship, a more stable relationship than the euro and the dollar," said the executive. By exporting vehicles from China, Volvo expects the degree of risk of sudden currency changes to decrease. The U.S. isn't the only country being looked at for having vehicles exported from China. Russia is another country being looked at as well. Source: Reuters William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  11. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com March 19, 2013 Last month, we reported that Fisker had two possible bidders for a possible stake in the company. The two bidders in question were Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and Dongfeng Motor Group. At the time, Fisker was leaning towards Geely due to the company's experience of acquiring a foreign automaker (Volvo) and management structure. But Geely has dropped their bid for Fisker. Two sources tell Reuters that the reason Geely dropped their bid was due to Fisker's obligations to the U.S. Government which included obligation to restore capacity and jobs at Fisker's Delaware plant according to a schedule imposed by the government. "Those obligations are too complicated to handle and seem too risky. The plan's footprint was too big. It would take a long, long time to fill up the plant with products and restore employment there," a source said. This leaves Dongfeng Motor Group as the sole bidder for Fisker. The company sent their final bid last week. As for those who think this was why former Fisker chairman and founder Henrik Fisker stepped down, sources explain this is not related. Source: Reuters William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  12. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com March 19, 2013 Last month, we reported that Fisker had two possible bidders for a possible stake in the company. The two bidders in question were Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and Dongfeng Motor Group. At the time, Fisker was leaning towards Geely due to the company's experience of acquiring a foreign automaker (Volvo) and management structure. But Geely has dropped their bid for Fisker. Two sources tell Reuters that the reason Geely dropped their bid was due to Fisker's obligations to the U.S. Government which included obligation to restore capacity and jobs at Fisker's Delaware plant according to a schedule imposed by the government. "Those obligations are too complicated to handle and seem too risky. The plan's footprint was too big. It would take a long, long time to fill up the plant with products and restore employment there," a source said. This leaves Dongfeng Motor Group as the sole bidder for Fisker. The company sent their final bid last week. As for those who think this was why former Fisker chairman and founder Henrik Fisker stepped down, sources explain this is not related. Source: Reuters William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  13. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com February 18, 2013 The past couple of months for Fisker has been very interesting. In December, Fisker founder and Chairman Henrik Fisker said that the company was looking for "potential strategic partners". Then in January, Fisker headed off to China to talk with automakers. Now Fisker is looking at bids for a stake in the company by two Chinese automakers. Reuters is reporting that Fisker is weighing two bids from Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and Dongfeng Motor Group. The report says that companies from Europe and South Korea were also interested, but the two Chinese automakers sent in written bids. Two people familiar with the situation say the bids are worth between $200 million to $300 million and would give a majority stake to the winning bidder. Both say that Fisker is leaning towards Geely. Part of that comes from Geely's experience acquiring a foreign automaker, as it purchased Volvo from Ford in 2010. The other part deals with management structure. Geely has a more lean structure than Dongfeng, meaning it can complete the deal with Fisker with fewer roadblocks. Any deal with either company is likely to involve one other Chinese company; Wanxiang Group, who has purchased A123 systems. A123 systems was Fisker's primary battery supplier. Wanxiang Group has indicated they would be willing to help Fisker. Fisker, Geely, and Dongfeng aren't commenting at this time. Source: Reuters William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  14. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com February 18, 2013 The past couple of months for Fisker has been very interesting. In December, Fisker founder and Chairman Henrik Fisker said that the company was looking for "potential strategic partners". Then in January, Fisker headed off to China to talk with automakers. Now Fisker is looking at bids for a stake in the company by two Chinese automakers. Reuters is reporting that Fisker is weighing two bids from Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and Dongfeng Motor Group. The report says that companies from Europe and South Korea were also interested, but the two Chinese automakers sent in written bids. Two people familiar with the situation say the bids are worth between $200 million to $300 million and would give a majority stake to the winning bidder. Both say that Fisker is leaning towards Geely. Part of that comes from Geely's experience acquiring a foreign automaker, as it purchased Volvo from Ford in 2010. The other part deals with management structure. Geely has a more lean structure than Dongfeng, meaning it can complete the deal with Fisker with fewer roadblocks. Any deal with either company is likely to involve one other Chinese company; Wanxiang Group, who has purchased A123 systems. A123 systems was Fisker's primary battery supplier. Wanxiang Group has indicated they would be willing to help Fisker. Fisker, Geely, and Dongfeng aren't commenting at this time. Source: Reuters William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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