Sojitz Corporation has announced its partnership with Geely Auto, a subsidiary of leading Chinese automobile manufacturer and mobility solutions provider, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. Through this partnership, the Japanese trading company will import, distribute and sell Geely vehicles in the Philippines through its local subsidiary, Sojitz G Auto Philippines Corporation. The partnership was made with Geely Auto’s international sales and marketing arm, Geely Automobile International Corporation.
Headquartered in Hangzhou, China, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group is the owner and co-owner of a number of foreign automotive brands, including Volvo, Polestar, Lotus, and Proton. It has also acquired a 9.69-percent stake in Daimler AG, making Zhejiang Geely Holding Group the largest shareholder in the parent company of Mercedes-Benz. Having all these brands under the same Group allow for greater synergies in the design, development and manufacturing of vehicles, as can be seen with the creation of Lynk & Co., a new global brand jointly developed by Geely Auto and Volvo.
Sojitz has been present in the Philippines since 1972 when it partnered with Chrysler Philippines Corporation and has accumulated a wealth of experience in the local automotive field. Its other recent involvements in the local automotive industry include a partnership with Fuso commercial vehicles and expansion with leading Japanese financial institution, JACCS Co. Ltd., to include auto retail financing into its offering of products and services. Under its current agreement, Geely Auto Group, Sojitz will introduce Geely’s current range of small, compact and mid-size sport utility vehicles (SUVs), as well as multi-purpose vehicles (MPV) and a sub-compact mainstream passenger car.
“We will start with a small SUV,” revealed Ryan Christopher Isana, section head for marketing of Sojitz G Auto Philippines Corp., to WHEELS.PH.
There’s a good chance the small SUV in question may be the Geely Binyue or SX11, the Emgrand GS, or Vision X3, according to a WHEELS.PH source.
Mikihisa Takayama, president of Sojitz G Auto Philippines Corporation, said, “I am confident that the partnership will bring forth a new level of excitement and ownership experience as we roll out the next-generation Geely vehicles onto the Philippines market. I also feel very optimistic about Geely’s presence in the global automotive scene, with its combined resources and synergies in not just developing and manufacturing vehicles, but in providing mobility solutions and technology services on a larger scale.” — With Kap Maceda Aguila