Future Models - Geely 2018 MPV
Shanghai show: Geely gears up six-seat MPV concept
2020 vision: Geely hopes the MPV will help achieve its sales goal of at least two million vehicles annually by 2020 – which would see the brand enter the top 10 globally.
Possible Australian influence from DSI for production version of Geely MPV
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21 April 2017
GEELY are yet to confirm it, but there may be some Aussie flair behind the MPV
concept that the Chinese brand took the covers off at the Shanghai motor show
Shaping up as the evolution of the Emgrand EV8 that never made it to market,
Geely is signalling its entrant into the hotly contested and ever-popular
people-mover segment in China.
Recent changes to the nation’s One Child policy mean larger families are
becoming more commonplace, which is contributing to the attractiveness of the
Chinese people-mover market.
MPV sales in China totalled 2.4 million last year – representing an increase of
14.7 per cent over the 2015 mark – with forecasts indicating that up to 3.5
million units will be sold in 2020.
However, a production version of the MPV may have some Australian influence if
the heavily camouflaged test car that was recently spotted in Dandenong,
Victoria is anything to go by.
Previously speculated by GoAuto to be an Opel Zafira Tourer-based Buick GL6, it
is possible the engineering mule was in fact the forthcoming Geely MPV
undergoing transmission calibration by Drive Systems International (DSI).
DSI – a wholly owned subsidiary of Geely since 2009 – is located on Centre
Road, Springvale, which is a mere 10 kilometres from the Dandenong Bypass where
the development vehicle was spied.
A second set of Chinese spy shots – which have been released since our first
report – appear to share the same floating greenhouse as the local images and
the Shanghai concept, as well as a distinctive angular glass section forward of
Furthermore, near-identical camouflage cladding is another similarity between
the Australian and Chinese engineering mules that seem to make them an exact
Reports out of China suggest that the MPV will feature a seven-speed wet
dual-clutch automatic transmission when it goes on sale next year, which is
said to be a product of in-house research and development (R&D).
As transmission experts, DSI have likely been given the responsibility to
produce the unit for the MPV – which would differentiate the people-mover from
most of its competitors that continue to employ traditional torque-converter
Manufacturing of DSI-engineered transmissions takes place in three Geely-owned
Chinese factories, while R&D work is still conducted in Australia.
An international team, led by Volvo vice-president of design Peter Horbury, was
responsible for designing the six-seat MPV, which incorporates elements of
global fashion and draws inspiration from private aircrafts.
The grille resembles the ripple effect caused when a droplet impacts a body of
water, while the headlights stretch around the corner and are complimented by a
series of ‘dimples’.
Meanwhile, the A-, B- and C-pillars are all blacked-out to create the
appearance of a hovering roofline. The rest of the side profile is a creased
but smooth affair with other highlights including 20-inch alloy wheels and rear
Dimples feature again at the rear, linking up towards the thin, horizontal
tail-lights which complete the concept’s exterior styling with chrome
Inside, the seating layout is 2+2+2 which allows the installation of captain’s
chairs for the rear seats. A panoramic sunroof stretches across the roofline so
that it can be enjoyed by passengers across all three rows.
A large-size, high-definition LCD display replaces the usual driver’s binnacle
as an acknowledgement from Geely towards the era of the internet.
In its journey from concept car to production model, the MPV is expected to
tone down some of these design flourishes, but the overall look and feel is
likely to remain.
According to Geely, input from consumers into the pros and cons of the
people-mover, as well as their requirements, were gathered as part of the
research into improving the final product.
This would not mark the first time that Geely has put development vehicles
through their paces Down Under as the Bo Yue mid-size SUV was spotted across
Melbourne several times before it went on-sale overseas in March last year.
Australian independent engineering house Premcar – which is based in
Campbellfield – was also believed to be involved in the tuning of the Bo Yue’s
suspension, in addition to DSI’s input into the high-rider’s transmission
Geely Automobile Group is currently working towards its ‘2020 strategy’, which
involves achieving an annual production and sales goal of two million units –
including its Volvo and Lynk & Co brands – by 2020.
Last year, Geely recorded group sales of 765,900 units globally – an increase
of 50 per cent over its 2015 result – while the car-maker has sold 278,600
units in the first quarter of 2017 – a 94 per cent improvement over the first
three months of 2016.
Such rapid growth could see Geely become a top 10 manufacturer in terms of
global volume by the turn of the decade. A new model in the people-mover
segment may help boost its fortunes.
The Geely MPV is expected to go into production during 2018 as a China-only
model, with official details to be unveiled closer to its launch date.