SUV Spied In Pune - Geely plotting India Entry? The could be in India to test the waters before an extensive testing campaign
The MG Hector has proved that Chinese automobiles can make strides in the Indian market with a right branding and marketing strategy. Buoyed by this success, a handful of leading OEMs from the neighbouring country are plotting their entry into our growing passenger car market. Geely, the owner of Volvo, is one of them.
Geely to field Proton brand in India?
Before the pandemic, it was reported that Geely is eyeing to venture into into India with its Malaysian subsidiary Proton. Badge-engineered RHD Geely vehicles with a non-Chinese identity could be a sound strategy. Neither Proton nor its parent company Geely has made any official announcements regarding their launch plans in India but there could be something cooking silently behind the screens.
The B-segment compact SUV, which is essentially a rebaged Geely Binyue, has been spotted without any camouflage in Pune, bringing the news about a possible market entry back to the surface. The car could be here for a customer clinic or technical evaluation or even preliminary trial runs.
Spied Near Pune
The original Geely Binyue is underpinned by the brand's BMA modular architecture which was developed in association with Volvo. The is an RHD derivative of this architecture with some mechanical modifications. Test mule of was spotted by automotive enthusiast Rahul_Autospy.
In terms of dimensions, the compact crossover SUV is in the same ballpark as the extremely popular Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos. Fielding its debut product in one of the most lucrative segments is a no brainer for any new OEM eyeing our market.
The Malaysia-spec X50 is powered by a 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine which is available in two states of tune. The base version produces a decent 150 hp and 226 Nm of torque while the range topping version delivers 177 hp and 255 Nm of torque. A standard 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission drives the front wheels.
Design and Equipment
The mid-premium has a simple yet sporty exterior styling and a well-equipped interior. Features list include full LED headlamps, 18-inch alloy wheels, quad tail pipes, LED color instrument panel, a wide stand-alone infotainment system, automatic climate control, 6-airbags, panoramic sunroof, remote engine start, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Lane Keep Assist, TPMS, Auto Park Assist and a lot more. The car scored a 5-star safety rating in ASEAN-NCAP crash test.
Will it come to India?
Over a decade ago, even before Geely's ownership, Proton explored the possibility of entering India but things did not materialize. However, backed by a well-funded Chinese OEM, the Malaysian brand could take the leap this time around.
In order to make an impact, Proton and Geely should establish a strong local manufacturing setup with high localization levels. Other indispensable elements include competitive pricing, best-in-class features, an extensive dealership network and a stellar marketing strategy.
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