New car manufacturer comes to the UK

  • Chinese firm Geely to sell cars at the end of 2012
  • First model will be Octavia-sized saloon for £10k
  • Expected to bring two smaller hatchbacks later

A new car company is set to start selling cars in the UK at the end of 2011 – Chinese manufacturer Geely.

Relatively unknown here, the firm actually owns the London Taxi Company, which makes the London black cab, and also Volvo.

The first model to go on sale will be the Emgrand EC7. The four-door saloon is a similar size to the Skoda Octavia and is likely to be priced at around £10,000, around £3,000 cheaper than the entry Octavia.

The EC7 will come with a choice of 1.5- and 1.8-litre petrol engines, but no sign of a diesel, which may scupper the brands beginnings somewhat. It will also come as either a four- or five-door model.

With the recent rise in popularity for the likes for Hyundai and Kia, Geely will be looking to emulate the South Korean brands. However, we’ll have to wait and see just how good build quality is before it can start challenging the more established brands.

Matthew Cheyne, market development director of Geely Auto UK, said: “Geely has a comprehensive range of models well suited to European requirements. We will be aiming to widen our range just as quickly as possible, probably at least a new model range every year for the next four to five years.

“Geely cars are already suitable for Europe and meet EU homologation and whole vehicle type approval and of course Euro 5 emissions. They are all well equipped products but at affordable prices and will carry a five-year, 100,000-mile warranty.”

The Chinese firm is hoping to have around 30 to 40 dealerships up and running before the launch of the first car.