The old guard of European automakers now has a new member of the club, one that has focused on electrification, forward-looking technology and manufacturing efficiency.
No, it's not Tesla.
The automaker that is quietly disrupting Europe's auto market is Geely, the Chinese conglomerate founded by the multibillionaire Eric Li that now owns or collaborates with more than a dozen companies that do business here.
In doing so, Geely has created a web of interdependent enterprises that it hopes will lay the foundation for a vertically integrated mobility business that engages with a variety of partners.
Hangzhou, China-based Zhejiang Geely Holding Group is the umbrella company for Li's expanding empire, with four business divisions: passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, technology and mobility services. Revenue in 2021 was $47.2 billion, with 2.2 million vehicles sold, according to Geely.
Starting with the 2010 acquisition of Volvo Cars from Ford Motor for $1.8 billion, Geely's vehicle brands (see chart, below) linked to Europe include Polestar, Lynk & CO, the London Electric Vehicle Company and Smart (through a joint venture with Mercedes-Benz).