Geely to sell Emgrand EC7 in the UK
Geely Motors will be the first Chinese car manufacturer to start selling cars in the UK in 2012 with their oddly named Emgrand EC7 model.
The Emgrand EC7 is a four door saloon or five door hatchback similar in size to a Skoda Octavia and will be available with a 106 bhp 1.5 litre engine, or a 138 bhp 1.8 litre. There will be 3 trim levels.
Given how many of the recent Chinese cars have looked, it's somewhat surprising that the EC7 is a relatively good looking car. Not stand-out stunning, but certainly inoffensive. In fact it could very easily be mistaken for a Chevrolet Cruze or mid-sized Toyota.
The cheapest 1.5 litre model will cost around £10,000 and will come with a five year, 100,000 mile warranty. For a car of this size that is incredibly cheap - as an example the cheapest Skoda Octavia has 104 bhp and costs £14,000.
The main issue that Geely will face is the lack of a diesel engine at launch. Diesel engines account for 85% of sales in the EC7's segment, so this could hurt sales despite the cheap purchase price.
Sales and after-sales will be handled by Manganese Bronze Holdings plc (MBH) through an estimated 40 dealers initially. MBH currently works with Geely building London black cabs.
John Russell, Chief Executive Officer of MBH said, “We are all aware of the success that the Korean brands, Kia and Hyundai have had in the UK and we can work with Geely to achieve similar success in the future”.
Geely also announced plans to launch a new model in the UK every year for the next five years. They are certainly planning on being a force to be reckoned with and if they keep their prices low and bring a diesel engine in, they could well succeed.
Images courtesy of Geely Auto UK