Chinese media reports GX7 to gain extra row of seats
Future models getting 6-speed DSI gearbox
Range-topping AWD on its way as well
The number 7 in the nomenclature of Geely's popular new utility vehicle will soon be a direct reference to the amount of seats. The GX7, which is also on the cards for South Africa, will be gaining an extra row of seats, increasing its passenger capacity to a cool seven inhabitants.
Geely's GX7 will also in the next few months become a full-blown SUV with range-topping All-Wheel Drive models to compete with vehicles such as the RAV4.
The new 7-seater version is expected to be 4 540 mm long, 1 835 mm wide and 1 700 mm tall with a wheelbase of 2 661 mm.
The GX7 was Geely's very first utility vehicle, and made its world debut at the 2012 Beijing International Motor Show. The new model earned a great deal of attention when it also made its home debut as it earned a 5+ star rating in the Chinese New Car Assessment Program (C-NCAP), and became known as China's safest SUV.
Over the past few years Geely has continually introduced new products to the market, improving its quality management systems and raising its brand profile, including in South Africa. Locally Geely has opened a state of the art Research and Development Centre at its Midrand head offices to evaluate new models to be launched on local soil.
Before buying Volvo in 2010, Geely has been a leading player in the international market with a strong history of cooperation with international companies. In 2007 Geely signed a joint venture with the British taxi manufacturer, Maganeze Bronze, for the production of the TX range of taxis in Shanghai, which are sold to international markets including the Middle East, Europe and Central Asia.
"Geely has over the last two or three years gone from strength to strength, significantly improving its products," says Henri Meistre, Managing Director of Geely South Africa.
"We experience that in the local market as well, where would-be buyers look at our new products with new eyes, realising the quality influence of designers and engineers from Volvo and other international companies now in the Geely stable."
In 2009 Geely bought the Australian transmission manufacturer, Drivetrain Systems International (DSI). The 7-seater is expected to have a flagship version using Geely's 6-speed automatic DSI transmission.
The GX7 is powered by two petrol engines - a 1,8ℓ and 2,0ℓ version - but a new 2,4ℓ petrol and 2,0ℓ diesel units are expected later this year.
The GX7 in normal guise is expected to make its South African debut in a year or two, including the front-wheel drive, full SUV with AWD and the future 7-seater versions.