The Geely CK1, who used to sport a W203 Mercedes Benz C-Class front end but has been recently revised has just made it’s debut in Indonesia last week. It is sold by PT Gaya Motor, an associate of Information Gateway Corp Sdn Bhd owned by Tan Sri Cam Soh Thiam Hong.
The car, available in 1.3 liter and 1.5 liter form, will be assembled in Indonesia, and 2,000 units is expected to be sold over the next 12 months. PT Gaya Motor has an agreement with Geely Holding Group for the manufacturing, assembly and international marketing of Geely vehicles in Indonesia. PT Gaya Motor will initially assemble CKD packs of the car in Indonesia, but later will start using more local components as volume picks up.
Geely originally wanted to establish a manufacturing base in Malaysia with an investment of RM100 million together with it’s partner Information Gateway Corp Sdn Bhd, but decided to pull out and choose Indonesia instead because of the discouraging National Automotive Policy.
The Philippines is a very small market, and most people can't afford a new car. There are several businesses in the country, especially around the city of Cebu, that specialize in converting used Japanese vans into pickup trucks. Public transportation is partly handled by jeepneys, minibus-like contraptions with fiberglass bodies. Seven-seat closed light commercial vehicles are popular here and all over Southeast Asia. Assembly operations here by Toyota, Ford and some other companies exist, but with small output numbers.
The Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturers Association of the Philippines (MVPMAP) last year launched the local production project that has led to the creation of this utility vehicle. Dreamco, the local assembler of Chinese Foton trucks, provided the chassis and a 2.1-liter diesel engine from China, and hundreds of local companies submitted other bits and parts.
The finished prototype was unveiled at the 109th Independence Day Festival here earlier this week. It appears sturdy but behind 21st-century standards in the quality department. MVPMAP has high ambitions for local production, and Dreamco is all set to manufacture the PhUV. But there's no final word yet on the fate of this intriguing idea.