The Chinese industrialist and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group's chairman, Li Shufu, recently had a "very pleasing" visit to South Africa, during which he attended the BRICS conference in Durban.
Li, founder and chairman of Geely Automobile, visited the independent Geely South Africa after the conference and also paid a visit to Volvo SA, the local subsidiary of the Swedish automaker taken over by his company in October 2010.
Li encouraged talks between Volvo and Geely SA for local collaboration in the short term and the investigation of further benefits such as local assembly. As far as Geely South Africa is concerned, Li undertook to "push the right-hand drive version of the GX7 SUV" and continue with a new bakkie project. He also expressed his wishes for Geely SA "to take up discussions with Volvo SA" for greater synergies, particularly with regard to shared back offices at this stage.
"As always, it was an honour to meet him and spend some valuable time with him. I think he was suitably impressed with local operations, however, more importantly, he was particularly interested in South Africans' love affair with SUVs and pick-ups," said Geely SA's MD, Henri Meistre. "We will be travelling to the Shanghai Auto Show later this month, where we will be involved in an important pick-up workshop. We will also be exposed to a host of exciting new concepts, engines, prototypes and production ready models."