Geely’s Sibling Rivalry

Normally when a brand unveils a new car, its price is relative to its size. This means smaller cars are at a lower price point than the bigger ones. If ever they get too close, it’s a top-trim of the smaller vs. the base model of the bigger like with the Ford EcoSport and Ford Territory. Sometimes, like in the case of the Honda City and Honda Jazz, they are in the same price range but they are also very different cars.

Geely Philippines busted this trend though when they released the Okavango – their newest 7-seater crossover. It’s meant to take on the MPV and mid-size SUV market with Geely’s signature modern design and upper-cut in pricing. It starts at P1,208,000 for the Comfort variant and P1,328,000 for the Urban trim. Compare that with popular SUVs of its size that start at P1.5m and you know it’s serious in disrupting the market. Problem is, Geely’s own Azkarra is at P1,438,000 for the Premium line and P1,598,000 for the Luxury. Uh oh.

This presents a possible cannibalization in sales because the two cars, despite the big difference in size, are fairly similar. Between them, they have the same 1.5L turbo engine with 48V Electric Motor Synergy system that puts out 190hp and 300Nm of torque, a 7-speed Wet Dual-Clutch transmission, and almost all of their tech and safety amenities. If you are given a budget of P1.5m and asked to choose between the two, will you get the 7-seater at P1.328m or shell out a little more for the 5-seater at P1.598m?

RELATED: 7-seater Okavango debuts – Geely PH’s follow-up to the Coolray and Azkarra

I asked Geely PH about this sibling rivalry and they are confident that their two children will play nice. Froilan Dytianquin, General Manager for Sales and Marketing of Geely Philippines, said that they only have to push the Azkarra to its target market which seeks a crossover of that configuration. He’s referring to the key features the Azkarra have namely the panoramic sunroof and the Luxury trim’s Nappa leather and All-Wheel Drive system. Add to that the more compact size and sleeker design of the Azkarra and it will really have a different vibe to people.

Dytianquin added that the Okavango is aimed at families and even bachelors who need the space it provides, while the Azkarra is for those who have a more active lifestyle, further saying that the 5-seater remains to be their flagship model despite the bigger Okavango’s arrival. Basically, lil’ bro might be taller, but kuya is still the man in charge when the parents are away.

It remains to be seen though if this expectation would play out since having more space for less money is a very tempting offer that most people would likely choose. At the end of the day though, with three market disruptors in their lineup, Geely is looking at more units rolling out of their increasing number of showrooms.

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