On Thursday, Geely unveiled its new global electric vehicle brand, Geometry, alongside its first model, the Geometry A, in Singapore. Naturally, we had a few questions regarding the marque and its relation to another Geely brand, Proton, and answering them was the company’s vice president of public relations, Victor Tang.
Now, you may remember a story we ran back in 2017, in which Geely expressly said that it will not enter the Southeast Asian market, and that it would leave that territory to Proton. As such, the announcement of Singapore being one of Geometry’s first export markets left our heads scratching, but Tang said that it was all part of the plan, since the latter is a separate brand.
“When we talked about the Geely brand not going into Malaysian and Southeast Asian countries, actually that did not include pure electric cars, that was what we agreed on,” he said. “And actually, you can regard Geometry as a new brand – although it is managed under Geely, it is a new brand focusing on pure electric cars. So as we said, Geely-branded vehicles still will not be come to ASEAN markets, only Geometry.”
This leaves the door open for Geometry’s entry to the region – but what about Malaysia? While Tang did not categorically deny a possible arrival on our shores, he did say there were no plans as yet, although that might change if there is sufficient government incentives and a strong charging infrastructure.
“It is up to Proton and its sales company [Proton Edar] to make an evaluation on the market potential, but we haven’t made a decision to sell Geometry to Malaysia for the moment. I think this can be an appealing car for the Malaysian market. I know that in the past, Malaysia did not have state support for new energy vehicles.”
It should be noted that while Malaysia does have an Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV) scheme that offers incentives to lower the cost of the car, the subsidies are not spelt out like they are in some other markets, being doled out on a customised case-by-case basis.
Tang added, “In the starting period, any development of a pure electric car needs to get subsidies in one way or another from a country to make it popular. Pure electric cars need support [in terms of] facilities as well, so you need to set up charging stations, you need to make all these facilities ready for the development of pure electric cars. But I know that the interest level is growing back in Malaysia.”
However, Tang said that hybrid, mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles should be sold here to encourage a cleaner, more efficient lifestyle. He added that Proton will continue to provide assistance in converting Geely vehicles to right-hand drive, including Geometry.