15 December 2014, Beijing China. Beijing’s Water Cube, recently host to the 2014 APEC Summit, was the platform from which Geely Auto officially showcased its flagship GC9 sedan and announced its new brand positioning and official tie up with the Chinese Olympic Swimming Team.
Geely Auto Chief Executive Officer, Mr. An Cong Hui, opened the ceremony by detailing the changes that the Chinese automarkets core consumer base has undergone and how Geely plans to react to these changes: “Post 1980’s consumers are becoming the driving force behind automotive consumption. They embrace globalized perspectives and ideas in a professional manner. Consumer requirements and buying patterns have undergone a complete change with consumers demanding greater levels of technology, quality and individualized value offerings.”
New Generation Geely
To further engage this rapidly changing consumer base Mr. An Cong Hui announced ‘New Generation Geely’ whose brand mission has been set as ‘Creating Refined Cars for Everybody’. Under this new direction Geely will utilize its newly created global engineering and design facilities to produce vehicles that are at the very forefront of the auto market in terms of engineering, technology and comfort. In July 2014 Geely Auto launched its first transitional product, the New Emgrand, under the New Generation Geely strategic plan; the New Emgrand makes use of Geely’s new design language and features Geely’s latest 1.3T engine. Monthly sales of the New Emgrand reached 21,827 units in November, making it the best-selling Chinese sedan.
Under the New Generation Geely philosophy Geely will continue to develop its engineering abilities along its core platforms, the KC and FE platforms and will continue to deepen and strengthen ties with Volvo Car Company where the two are jointly developing a Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) which will be used on both Volvo and Geely’s next generation of compact vehicles. The CMA project will see Volvo and Geely work together on joint R&D, engineering, and purchasing of parts to create economies of scale for both brands.
Geely GC9 Debuted at Water Cube
The Geely GC9 is the first product from Geely’s new global design and engineeringfunction. The GC9 was developed by Peter Horbury, Geely’s Senior Vice President of Design and his team whom are located in four key design studios located in Gothenburg, Shanghai, Barcelona and Los Angeles; these four design centers currently employ 220 designers and will expand to 300 in 2105. As Geely’s Chief Designer, Peter Horbury was eager to show that Geely is a true international car brand in terms of design whilst continually remembering Geely’s Chinese roots. Peter Horbury explained the design language as being: “The GC9’s lower frame spears out under the headlamps and the upper line together with the headlamps form a flowing bird’s wing effect, and the total frame surrounding these rings radiating from the badge like the ripples on a pond. All of these lines and features are designed to look as if they were not drawn with a marker but with a calligraphy brush. This is one of the details with which we have tried to introduce a flavor of China into our design. My ambition is to create global design language but with a hint of where we come from.”
The GC9 was designed from the outset to be a fastback which gives it a considerable stance, even when it is not moving the GC9 look as if it is already at speed, with strong muscular sides and a sculpted rear the GC9 strikes an imposing figure on public roads and stands out against global competitors.
Whilst the GC9’s exterior is dramatic and powerful, the interior gives way to a relaxed, calm, luxurious cabin environment. The lines on the instrument and doors follow the sweeping lines of ancient Chinese bridges, with traditional Chinese architecture also featured on the speaker covers which again subtly hints towards Geely’s Chinese roots. Comfort and luxury levels were paramount whilst developing the GC9’s interior; independent electrically adjustable rear seats have been introduced to give passengers the comfort levels that they deserve. World renowned audio and infotainment supplier Harman supplied its Infinity sound system which has integrated eight speakers into the GC9 to provide a complete surround sound system creating a concert level experience within the vehicle. Air quality systems have been added to give occupants the best possible internal air and to keep external pollution on the outside.
Global partners and suppliers were heavily involved in the GC9’s development, Volvo assisted with chassis development to provide an exhilarating driving experience whilst Australia’s Prodrive enhanced the GC9’s suspension to offer a stable, comfortable experience for passengers. Superior NVH (Noise Vibration and Harshness) characteristics were developed by Belgium’s LMS to give occupants the best level of road feedback and comfort possible.
Engine power comes from three key units, a naturally aspirated 2.4L, a 1.8 Direct Injection Turbo and a flagship 3.5L naturally aspirated engine. All three engines were independently developed by Geely Auto and provide a strong mixture of fuel economy and power. The 1.8 Direct Injection Turbo produces 250Nm from 1500RPM whilst returning extremely competitive fuel economy and reaching Euro 5 emission levels. All three engines are paired with a six speed automatic gearbox from Australia’s Drivetrain Systems International (DSI) which is also a wholly owned subsidiary of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group.
The GC9 is Geely’s first vehicle that will utilize Geely’s new slogan: “Dynamic and Refined, Confident and Inspiring” these four words will define the development of Geely at all levels, from management to product level.
Both passive and safety technology solutions have been built into the GC9 to give the driver and occupants complete piece of mind;the GC9 is fitted with an array of crash protection airbags including driver and passenger, side impact and driver knee protection, the GC9’s body is built around a steel cage with added side impact protection and front and rear crash protection. Geely has a long history of building vehicles that meet or exceed C-NCAP Five Star standards and the GC9 is no exception. Geely has utilized a 360 degree camera system on the GC9 that allows drivers to see around the car at all times eliminating blind spots around the vehicle, furthermore these cameras can be used during parking and will alert the driver to any obstacles in the way, an automatic parking feature has also been built into the GC9 which allows drivers to select the parking spot and let the car take over. Other active safety features include automatic distance measuring; should the GC9 become too close to the vehicles further ahead on the road the GC9 will actively apply the brakes to prevent any collisions. A Heads Up Display (HUD) system has also been introduced to the GC9 which will show the vehicles speed, travelling direction and navigation hints alongside the generously sized central console display. The infotainment system allows for easy access to media, music, navigation systems and internet access; the GC9 makes use of Geely’s G-Netlink system that allows for occupants to use the vehicle as a mobile hotspot via 3G internet connections, allowing for streaming music and video on the go.
The Chinese name for the Geely GC9 was announced as being Borui which embodies the muscular stance combined with soft flowing internal lines within the vehicle.
Geely Partners With Olympic Swimming Team
During the Geely Brand Night, Geely announced a strategic partnership with the Chinese Olympic Swimming Team. Geely Chairman, Mr. Li Shu Fu symbolically passed a key to the swimming team Chief Coach whilst leading swim team members Liu Yang, Ye Shi Wen and Ning Ze Tao were on hand to witness the event. Mr. Ning commented: “ The Geely GC9 has an emotive design, high quality and is well equipped with high levels of technology. Geely’s transformation into a leading Chinese car manufacturer also matches our own transformation story as both Geely and our swimming team have both become champions in their respective areas.”
Geely chose to partner with the Chinese Olympic Swimming Team owing to the teams considerable transformation on the global stage;by continually testing themselves on the international stage and showing team spirit, the swim team has continually improved. At the same time Geely developed along a similar parallel, through continuous innovation and self-improvement Geely has continued to enter into the international arena where it has achieved multiple success.
As part of New Generation Geely, multiple new models will be introduced over the course of 2015 and 2016 which will be developed by our global design and engineering facilities and will embody Geely’s new slogan of Dynamic and Refine, Confident and Inspiringphilosophy.
The GC9 will go on sale in the first quarter of 2015.