If you've been noticing more and more Geely models on the road, don't worry. Your eyes aren't deceiving you.
Geely distributor Sojitz G Auto Philippines (SGAP) has just announced that they have achieved an outstanding increase in sales in the first half of the year: from January to June 2021, Geely released a total of 2,426 vehicles.
Geely isn't shy about releasing those digits because that is more than quadruple the sales from the same period in 2020 (549 units) and represents a growth of 342%.
Driving the sales is the Geely Coolray; 1,312 out of the 2,426 units sold are Coolray variants. Those numbers put the Coolray as the number one in the subcompact 4x2 SUV segment and also represent a 153% growth over the same period in 2020.
The Azkarra (launched during the first ECQ of 2020) likewise garnered significant sales with 133 units, but it is the Okavango (launched in the latter part of 2020) that is also proving to be a strong sales driver with 981 units sold in H1 2021.
Geely's numbers are definitely looking up despite the continuous threat of the pandemic, more competitors entering the Coolray's category, and even a safeguard duty (that is set to be canceled) that were to put a damper on the sales of imported cars. Even then, Geely opted to absorb the impact of the safeguard duty for their customers and didn't raise prices.
“This year has its own challenges,” said Yosuke Nishi, SGAP president, and CEO. “Just as the industry was starting to recover from the pandemic, safeguard duty was imposed on imported vehicles and the re-implementation of stricter quarantine restrictions in the second quarter. We had to be flexible with our strategies to keep up with the volatile situation.”
The success story of Geely so far is perfectly timed with the launch of new-generation models that benefit greatly from the brand's ambitions to become a globally competitive automaker from China. Investing heavily in design, research, development, technology, and manufacturing, Geely's new generation products in the Philippines have garnered outstanding reviews (including from us) on merit and quality.
The rise of Geely also coincided with the interest of Japanese trading house Sojitz in distributing a new brand. The company had just sold its huge stake in Mitsubishi Motors Philippines under the reported policies of ex-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn to never work with trading houses after the Yokohama-based company acquired the lion's share of MMPC parent Mitsubishi Motors Corporation in 2016. The result was Sojitz investing in being the distributor of Fuso trucks and Geely.
Still, the growth of Geely in the Philippines is surprising given an automobile market that is very discerning when it comes to brand, very selective when it comes to the size of the engine, and very picky as to the origin of the vehicle (specifically PRC). Their sales have allowed Geely to break into the top 10 under CAMPI despite only having three different nameplates in their showrooms.