Geely is the first domestic automobile manufacturer from China to participate in the annual Detroit Auto Show, organized and conducted by the Detroit Automobile Dealers Association. Each year the show attracts thousands of media reporters, automobile dealers from around the United States, and the general public. The presence of the first Chinese automobile manufacturer to ever participate in the show has given the 2006 show a very unique flavor.
Chairman Shufu Li is a remarkable version of the American story of a self made man who has brought himself up from poverty to great wealth. "I am just the son of a Chinese peasant farmer," he will say, "but I understand that hard work, determination, and courage in the face of enormous challenges will inevitably bring success." Mr. Li's remarkable journey from his birth as the son of a peasant farmer to becoming one of China's most noted and respected entrepreneurs is irrefutable testimony to the fact that indeed he understands the relationship between hard work, courage, and determination in order to achieve success.
The Geely saga goes from the humble beginning of manufacturing small simple refrigerators, bicycles, and motor scooters to the manufacture and sale of over one hundred thousand automobiles per year. Geely is unique among Chinese manufacturing enterprises in that no government entity has any ownership in Geely. "We are a truly independent company," says Mr. Li. In his first press conference in the United States, held at the Detroit Auto Show, Mr. Li state, "In 1996 we decided that we would enter the world of automobile manufacturing. We have faced many hardships along the way, but today I am pleased to announce that Geely will bring to the people of the United States a safe, high quality, family friendly automobile, that can be purchased for less than ten thousand dollars."
At the Detroit Auto Show Geely put on display a five passenger sedan referred to as the "7151 CK." Representatives of the company explained that this vehicle is the "third generation" of the model that is the mainstay of the Geely line. "The automobile that we will bring to the United States will be the fifth generation of the 7151 CK," said Mr. Li. "There will have been many improvements over the design and engineering that you see here," he said. Then with a smile he added, "I also doubt that we will still be calling it by that name when it comes time to present the car to the American consumers."
The name "Geely" is derived from a Chinese language phrase that means, "I am lucky.' However, "being lucky" is not the way that Shufu Li arrived at the threshold of becoming a world-class automobile manufacturer. Throughout his business career he has combined vision with unyielding determination in order to produce success. He has carefully studied the success of the Korean and Japanese automobile manufacturers whose names are now well regarded throughout the world. He has also studied the mistakes of those companies that attempted to enter the U.S. market and failed. "I know very well what mistakes others have made," he explains, "and I have no intention of repeating those mistakes."
Mr. Li makes it clear that he understands the enormity of the challenge he faces. His strategy is one of taking prudent and cautious steps from where he is now to where he expects to be by the year 2008. He refused to make any estimate of the number of vehicles that Geely will sell in the U.S. market in their first full year of competing with the legacy automobile manufacturers. Rather, his main focus for the near term is to complete the design, engineering, and manufacturing changes that will result in achieving his promise of a "high quality, safe, and family friendly sedan that can be purchased for less than ten thousand dollars."
Some critics have insisted that all of this is "... an impossible fantasy," in response to those critics Mr. Li simply smiles and says, "Well, that's what they told me when I started making those bicycles and motor scooters in an old garage in rural Zhejiang province. Today we have a dozen manufacturing facilities throughout southeast China. We know what it will take to succeed with this dream, and we are prepared to pay that price."
Based on his past performance, it would not be wise to underestimate the capacity of this "son of a Chinese peasant farmer."
Geely is a large privately run group mainly engaged in the manufacture and operation of automobiles and their spare parts. Founded in 1986, it has achieved brilliant accomplishments with automobiles, motorcycles, motor engines, gearboxes, spare parts, decorating materials, tourism and real estate. Its assets value at over RMB5 billion in total. Since Geely stepped into the automotive industry in 1987, it has grown to be a major brand in China's economic sedan cars due to its flexible operation mechanisms and continuous conceptual innovation. In 2003, it was ranked No. 331 among the nationwide top 500 enterprises in terms of operational scale and No. 25 of the "Top hundred enterprises in Zhejiang Province," and was appraised as one of the "most rapidly developed enterprises with the best growth in China's automobile industry over the past 50 years.' ' As a result, it has achieved the mainstream patter of "3+6" that is a characteristic of domestic auto manufacturers.
Geely is located in Hangzhou, the capital city of Zhejiang province with 4 manufacturing bases in Linhai, Ningbo, Taizhou and Shanghai that specialize in production of units of cars and auto spare parts. Now, Geely is able to manufacture 200,000 units of cars, 200,000 engines and 150,000 gear boxes annually. New projects become ready for production in Ningbo, Taizhou and Shanghai. Geely's production capability is estimated to increase to 300,000 units of cars per year and 300,000 engines per year.
For Further Information Contact: Ms. Wei Qu Geely International Corporation Tel: +86-21-5308-6111 x210 Email: Email Contact
CONTACT: Ms. Wei Qu of Geely International Corporation, +86-21-5308-6111
x210, or Email Contact