Geely sells 10 millionth car - from cloning Daihatsus to buying Volvo and Proton in just 23 years
Sanjay · Nov 27, 2020 12:18 PM
Geely may be relatively new to Malaysians since they acquired 49.9% of Proton just three years ago in May 2017. Not many know they've been making cars in China for much longer than that, after being founded by Li Shufu in 1997.
23 years is relatively young in the automotive world - Proton have been around for 35 years - but that hasn't stopped Geely from selling its 10 millionth vehicle recently.
Geely's first car was the HQ (Hao Qing). Touted as a cheap, local alternative to relatively-dearer small Japanese cars, it also was the first privately-made Chinese car - the fact that it's a Daihatsu Charade clone is simply ironic. They only managed to sell 10,000 cars in their first year.
By 2003 - when Geely began exporting cars - sales reached 100,000 units. Growth came quick: in 2005, they became the first Chinese carmaker to appear at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
People were starting to notice them, and sales numbers tripled in 2009 to 326,000 units.
The Geely Bo Yue (Proton X70) launched Geely further into the sales stratosphere, having sold 1 million units since its introduction in late 2016.
With the introduction of the Emgrand series in the same year, Geely's sales quickly rose to 1.58 million units in 2018.
A huge part of Geely's success also comes from their international expansion: just look at how the Proton X50/Geely Coolray (Bin Yue) are so well-received here and in other markets. Recently they've also expanded into seven-seaters with the Okavango (Hao Yue).
Interestingly, Geely says that nearly half of their 10 million sales came in the past three years alone. With more CMA and BMA models in the pipeline - in addition to the all-new SEA pure electric platform - it's not impossible to see them reaching 20 million sales in an even shorter period of time.
With humble beginnings collecting diecast models and spending hours virtually tuning dream cars on the computer, his love of cars has delightfully transformed into a career. Sanjay enjoys how the same passion for cars transcends boundaries and brings people together.