21 January 2014, São Paulo, Brazil. Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd.(“Geely Auto” or the “Company”) today announced that it has officially entered the Brazilian market with the launch of its flagship model, the Emgrand EC7. The Company has also appointed the Gandini Group, a leading international dealer group, as its exclusive dealer nationally to support the Company’s expansion in Brazil.
The launch of the Emgrand EC7 in Brazil represents another key milestone in Geely Auto’s globalization. The EC7’s excellent driving performance and outstanding functionality have made it the most popular Geely Auto model, with sales in 20 countries and regions across the world. In the four years since it was first introduced in the Chinese market, the EC7 has generated sales of over 500,000 vehicles globally. In November 2011, it was awarded a 4-star safety certification from Euro-NCAP, making it the first Chinese automotive model to score a high-star European safety accreditation.
Geely Auto’s products for the Brazilian market will be assembled in Uruguay using the KD(Knock-down)method, with parts of the manufacturing process, including welding and painting, conducted in China. Geely Auto will partner with Nordex, a leading specialist auto assembly provider in Uruguay, whose facility has the capacity to produce 20,000 units of four Geely models: the EC7, the EC7-RV, the GC2 and the GX2. The partnership is expected to directly create over 300 jobs and as many as 900 jobs indirectly in Uruguay. The products assembled in the Uruguayan plant will principally serve the Brazilian and Argentinean markets, in accordance with the South American Common Market Agreement. In addition, the Company will increasingly source auto parts such as wheel hubs, tires and storage batteries over the next several years from within the common market to meet relevant localization requirements.
As the largest automotive market in Latin America and the fifth-largest market worldwide, Brazil generates annual sales of 3.5 million passenger vehicles and offers significant growth potential. Geely Auto regards Brazil as an important market in its global expansion and partnered with the Gandini Group in August 2011 to establish Geely Motors do Brazil LtDa.,with the aim of gaining greater local insight ahead of its arrival in the market. In 2014, Geely Auto intends to begin by selling the manual-transmission Emgrand EC7 and the manual-transmission Panda GC2, before introducing other models. The Company also plans to introduce more products to the Brazilian market by constructing a local assembly plant.