Geely to launch "small Rolls-Royce" by 2011.
source: Gasgoo.comNovember 25, 2008 - Last week at the Guangzhou auto show, Geely Auto launched its small car Panda and other two new models code-named FC-2, FC-3, which will go on sale in June 2009. In addition to these economical cars, Geely is making its foray into the luxury sedan segment, and will launch its first premium sedan model nicknamed "small Rolls-Royce" by 2011, said xinhuanet.com today.
In October 2006, Geely Auto formed a joint venture (Shanghai LTI Automobile Components Co) with Shanghai Maple and UK's Manganese Bronze Holdings to produce the renowned London taxi TX4. This Geely-made taxi was put into trial operation during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in August. Now Geely has decided to use the TX4 platform to develop its own-brand luxury sedan while mass-producing the TX4 taxi.
The Geely sedan to be made on the TX4 platform will be driven by a world-class engine, possibly the V6 3.0L engine and even the V8 series, and equipped with Chinese-made automatic transmissions and the blowout monitoring and braking system (BMBS), Geely's self-developed driving safety technology.
Geely Auto aims to make this sedan model one of the top Chinese sedan brands. According to Geely's design plan, the sedan model will look like the China-made high-end model of a BMW or Mercedes-Benz series, but the overall design of the car body will be based on the TX4 which Geely is making.
The Geely sedan now has a working name "Yinglun Dihua" ("British imperial splendor") but is widely called the "small Rolls-Royce" by the auto industry and media. Positioned for the premium BMW / Mercedes-Benz-dominating market, the luxury Geely sedan is expected to sell for 300,000 yuan ($43,900) or so when it comes to market by 2011.