In 2005, state-owned Nanjing Auto purchased the MG brand from bankrupt UK automaker MG Rover. Within a year, a strategy was hatched to build and sell vehicles in the US and the United Kingdom, in addition to China.
At the Frankfurt auto show in September, Great Wall Motor announced plans to distribute vehicles under its premium brand, Wey, in western Europe within two years, starting with Germany, the report said.
His explanation to the Chinese media: After competing with domestic rivals on price for so long, it’s time for Chinese carmakers to compete on brand strength.
And as worldwide operations are a must for any car company with true international standing, Chinese brands must go global, he added.
He also said that he has joked with staffers about weighing the risks of venturing far from home. The verdict: “Great Wall would rather take the challenge, even if it means dying abroad.”
In Frankfurt, Wei said entering the US remains an ambition for the company, 11 years after proclaiming its “ultimate goal” was to sell cars there. That same month, Great Wall signed up Swedish supplier Autoliv to help research road safety in North America and better prepare its vehicles for the market — whenever they might arrive.
In 2017, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group started sales of the first product, a compact crossover, under Lynk & CO — a brand jointly owned by the leading Chinese carmaker and its Swedish subsidiary, Volvo Car Corp, the report said.
Back then, Geely also planned to sell Lynk & Co’s products, which share the platform with the Volvo XC40, in Europe and US in the next few years.
Last week, Geely announced that it would start distributing Lynk & Co vehicles in Europe next year. The company has yet to disclose a timeframe for when to take the brand to the US.