The cars that will change Western preconceived notions of what Chinese models are like and popularize them in the process will have to be ones based on a clever rather than aggressive underlying philosophy. Geely will be among the first to try to create it, in a subcompact body package, with the help of Volvo.
The Wall Street Journal reports that work on the new model is already underway, in Sweden. Chinese engineers are still the ones developing the project, which we understand, will be exclusively Geely-badged, but they will work with Volvo to achieve that desirable Western flavor. Naturally, working hand-in-hand with the safety-conscious Swedes means the new Chinese model will be safer than you’d expect too.
Speaking of safety, aspects of the preconceived notion that cars engineered and built in China perform poorly in crashes has started to fade away, as many new cars coming out of the People’s Republic are improving in standard rapidly – most notably, the Qoros 3 was named Euro NCAP’s safest car of 2013.
The move towards progress is confirmed by the CEO of Volvo, Hakan Samuelsson. “Geely’s ambition is to raise its technological level, and you don’t do that by taking ready-made products and putting them in your car,” Samuelsson.
Mats Fägerhag, the chief executive of China Euro Vehicle Technology (a jointly opened Sweden-based R&D center) added: “Our joint venture has gradually expanded, and it is now about three times as big as when we started,” with a goal of creating “modular architectures.”
They expect to see such a platform make its debut in an actual model in three to four years’ time, yet it’s unclear when the subcompact mentioned above will appear.
Note: Deeply Euro-flavored Volvo V40 hatchback pictured
By Andrei Nedelea