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Fancy car sheds light on China-Belgium co-op

Updated: Jun 7,2017 11:35 AM

Premier Li Keqiang and Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel visited a car exhibition held by Geely and its subsidiary Volvo on June 2.

They sat in and tried a Volvo XC40 concept car whose chassis is jointly developed by Geely and Volvo.

In 2010, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, a China-based auto manufacturer, bought all shares of Volvo Auto, which was a Swedish enterprise at that time. After the purchase, the Volvo factory in Belgium, the largest one outside Sweden, has seen steady growth regarding both output and export sales.

That’s why the two leaders came here this time.

“I hope this Chinese enterprise can enhance technology and nurture craftsmanship through cooperation,” Premier Li said.

More innovative products encouraged

One of the items on display that grabbed the most attention was a motor-vehicle chassis, called the “CMA modularization framework”. It is an R&D product that took the two companies three years to finish, according to Li Shufu, chairman of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. 

He told Premier Li that the new framework can be adjusted, with the distance between wheels and shafts being changeable.

“That means different types of vehicles can be produced on the same platform, right?” Premier Li asked.

“That’s correct, and we have realized modular design. This modular chassis can be shared among different types of engines, no matter it is three-cylinder or hybrid power, as well as among different types of cars, such as A-class or SUV,” said Li.

“With one platform and modular production, you can meet customers’ personalized demands,” said Premier Li. “I hope you make more such innovative products.”

Jointly expand international market

The Geely chairman then introduced the first suburban utility vehicle (SUV) model under the group’s own brand Lynk & Co, which is built on the Geely-Volvo CMA platform.

“This is our latest achievement in implementing ‘Made in China 2025’,” he said.

Sitting in the car, Premier Li and Michel carefully checked its configuration, and asked in detail about the engine design technology, energy consumption, materials, and sales volume.

Jointly developed by Geely and Volvo, this car features a variety of cutting-edge functions such as automatic braking, driver-vehicle interaction, and voice interaction, according to Li Shufu. Moreover, the two groups have also carried out in-depth cooperation in methanol fuel vehicles, self-driving cars, motorization, and other fields, with the hopes of leading the world in innovation.

The Premier praised their joint R&D and production model. He called on both sides to bring into full play their respective advantages in terms of talent, capital, technology, and market presence to strengthen innovation cooperation, and jointly expand the international market, in order to achieve win-win results.

The Geely-Volvo Ghent factory, being the largest assembly plant outside Sweden, has a total production that accounts for over half Volvo’s total production in the globe and 40 percent of which has entered the Chinese market.

Premier Li and Charles Michel watched how the Ghent production assembly line works on a streaming live television which also allowed them to supervise daily work of other factories located in Belgium, Sweden, and China simultaneously as well as design centers in Sweden, Spain, the US, and China.

And through one simple screen, people can easily understand Geely-Volve’s global strategic layout on R&D and production.

Premier Li said the success of the Geely-Volve‘s acquisition fully proves that opening-up and cooperation play crucial role in development.

“So China is now carrying out the strategy “Made in China 2025” to further promote opening up, encourage Chinese enterprises to expand international cooperation and attract more foreign investment, in an effort to reach a mutually beneficial result and make further progress in bilateral development,” said Premier Li.