China’s Geely To Launch Global Brand In All-Out Attack On Tesla, Lexus

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Chinese carmaker Geely is planning to attack one of the most profitable segments of the car business, using a strategy pioneered by Toyota, and taking cues from low-cost fashion brands, people familiar with the strategy told me. Executives of the world’s largest carmakers, and of one of the smallest, California’s Tesla, will monitor the plans with great interest.

According to a reliable source close to Geely’s headquarters in Hangzhou, China, the carmaker will soon launch an “affordable premium” brand, with cars initially available in the U.S. and Europe. “This will be Geely’s global brand,” the executive said, “it will be all plug-in hybrid and hybrid electric vehicles, and we’ll sell it Tesla-style using our factory in Taizhou.” Insiders who have seen the plans recommend to “think Zara selling cars,” referring to increasingly popular fast fashion labels with the looks of higher-end garb. According to the sources, Geely’s global brand should be launched within weeks. Taizhou in China’s Zhejiang province is Geely’s birthplace. The company maintains a large manufacturing footprint in the coastal city 190 miles south of Shanghai.

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