A UAE dealer is trying to change buyers’s views of Chinese cars, reports
Chinese auto-maker Geely is redefining the perception of Chinese-made models, with a new fleet of cars and a successful push into the GCC market.
Geely’s platform of sporty sedans and affordable SUVs are a far cry from people’s traditional view of Chinese cars as cheap and unreliable.
Having won over consumers in Saudi and Oman, the brand is now making a play for a share of the UAE market.
“The UAE, being the most influential market in the region, is a good step for them, that’s why we decided to take on the dealership for them,” said Raymond Ma, General Manager at Union Motors, the dealer for Geely in the UAE.
“For us as an emerging brand business, the last 10 months has definitely been heading in the right direction.”
Geely has opened showrooms in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah, with a service centre in each location.
“We built this nationwide presence to gain consumer confidence in the Geely brand,” Ma said. “We pride ourselves in giving the customer service experience to anyone who enquires about buying a car, servicing a car or purchasing a car.”
Geely has sold 600 cars in the first ten months of trading in Dubai’s tough auto market, Ma says, with their top customers being Indian nationals then Emiratis.
“We were surprised by how quickly they accepted the product,” he said of their previous model, the EX7 mini SUV. The car comes with full nappa leather diamond stitch and alcantara roof-lining that starts from Dhs45,000.
“We’ve found that the Emiratis, especially the females, like to buy it as their second run-around car for their maids and their drivers,” Ma added. The brand started in Saudi five years ago and sold 15,000 units in its first year.
“The GCC, especially Saudi, where we have been operating for the last five years, are definitely having great success,” Ma said.
China is the world’s largest car market, while the Koreans, with Hyundai and KIA are their biggest local competitor, Ma said.
Geely recently launched their most ambitious car yet, the Emgrand GT, designed by renowned British Volvo designer Peter Horbury.
It is the first car based on joint architecture developed with Volvo, which was bought by Geely in 2010, and was crowned China’s car of the year at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show. With the Emgrand GT’s oyster ripple grill and classy style, the sporty sedan wouldn’t look out of place on Dubai roads.
“We’ve already taken some orders from Emiratis on the new car,” Ma said. “We’ll be introducing a lot more models in the next 12-18 months that started with this new platform, the feedback that we’ve got so far is very positive and we hope, will only get better.”