Several Chinese automakers are determined to establish themselves in the U.S., namely Geely, which had originally hoped to be selling cars locally by the end of the decade. Geely decided to hold back after the huge sales flop one of its competitors managed in Europe.
One of the biggest hurdles Chinese automakers have in the U.S. is their poor image and reputation for safety. Their vehicles have no brand recognition nor do they comply with the latest environmental and safety standards.
With its expected tie-up with Volvo soon to be completed, however, Geely now has a new avenue on which to embark on its launch in what is still the world’s most lucrative auto market. Using Volvo’s dealer network could provide Geely with some backing, though nothing has been confirmed yet.
Volvo dealers in the U.S. are keen, however. It "sounds appealing," says Mark O'Steen, owner of O'Steen Volvo in Jacksonville, Florida. "I'll try anything. It is just another niche that we don't cover, and hopefully they do have some potential in the United States."
Other dealers have mentioned that the Geely cars would have to be priced lower than anything else on the market in their respective segments, which means beating brands like Kia and Hyundai. Another major concern is quality, but Chinese automakers have caught up their foreign rivals in this regard in recent years.
[Automotive News, sub req’d]