March 17, 2006

Geely plans counter-protectionist campaign ahead of launch

Beijing, China – Chinese automaker Geely is planning a campaign to counter protectionist sentiment in the U.S. prior to its expected launch in the early fall of 2008, reports news agency Just Auto.

Geely is attempting to become the first Chinese carmaker to export its vehicles to the U.S.; Chery Automobile is also trying to enter that country through importation by entrepreneur Malcolm Bricklin, who aims to have the cars on sale by late 2007 or early 2008.

John Harmer, COO of Geely’s U.S. unit, reportedly told the Society of Automotive Analysts that the company was seeking support from the Beijing government and other Chinese automakers for a “broad-based public relations effort” to deal with protectionism. The Geely and Chery launches will be influenced by the carmakers’ ability to meet U.S. emission and safety regulations. Harmer also reportedly said that opinion polls showed a high level of concern about vehicle quality.

At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January 2006, Geely displayed a vehicle in a small booth in the building’s lobby but did not have an exhibit inside with the other automakers. The booth was open during press and industry days, but was removed before the show opened to the public.

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