While other automakers in the Philippines are scrambling to refresh their vehicles as well as their lineups in an effort to stay afloat and protect their market shares during the current pandemic-related crisis, one automobile brand has managed to snag the number 10 position in the Philippines' overall automotive market without sweating much. Chinese carmaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., Ltd., more popularly known for its short name Geely, has only two offerings in the country, the Geely Coolray and the Geely Azkarra, but has managed to slot in at the tenth spot in terms of total sales in June 2020. This is quite impressive for a brand that has just re-entered the Philippine market last year with Sojitz G Auto Philippines (SGAP) as its official distributor and aftersales service arm.
Geely was able to sell a combined total of 184 units of the Coolray SUV, which it brought in during its re-entry into the country last year, and the mild-hybrid compact crossover Azkarra, which was only released in March this year. The month of June is Geely's record-breaking month in terms of sales since January 2020, with official sales data from the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors, Inc. (AVID) showing a 160 percent boost in sales from the 70 units that were sold in May 2020. For the first half of the year, a total of 549 units were already sold, which is quite notable given that strict quarantines that have affected many businesses were imposed between the months of March and May.
The June 2020 figures also show the Geely Coolray leading the pack of top-selling five-seater subcompact SUVs in the country. Out of the 184 units sold in the said month, 154 units were of this emerging popular vehicle in the Philippines. It isn't surprising that the Geely Coolray will capture many Filipinos' hearts because its features have undoubtedly set the bar high in terms of technology, performance and style.
Geely and SGAP have announced previously that they are targeting at least 2,000 units of the Coolray to be sold in the country by the end of 2020. While it is still far off from its sales goal, this latest development is inspiring, and with the easing off of restrictions in many parts of the country, there's still a lot of opportunities for the brand to bounce back.
CEO and President of SGAP Mikihisa Takayama reportedly said that their June achievement "is definitely a very positive development as every auto brand tries to bounce back during this post-ECQ period. We are very delighted with this outcome since it is mainly driven by one model, the Coolray and only one showroom located in North Edsa." He is also positive about the future, saying: "We expect Geely sales to improve further as we open new dealership outlets and further complement our product line up this year."
Based on the teasers on Geely Philippines' official webpage, this lineup expansion that Takayama is talking about seems to include three vehicles: a sedan, a standard-sized SUV or crossover, and an MPV. Some speculate these to be the Philippine versions of the Geely Haoyue, Geely Jia Ji, and the Geely Binrui.
Rival brands must watch out for Geely as it builds a formidable arsenal in the Philippine market. It might not be long before the Chinese brand climbs up from its 10th spot to reach the top.