TorqueNews recently reported that Geely plans to break into the UK vehicle market. The first car to be sold in the UK by the Chinese car company will be the The Geely Emgrand EC7. It will not enter the market until the end of 2012, but the 4-star Euro NCAP safety rating could prove important to attract new buyers.
The Euro NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme) ratings are considered an important metric for determining how safe new vehicles are in Europe. It provides a realistic and independent analysis of crash testing.
The Geely Emgrand EC7 was one of six new models to achieve the 4-star rating, out of 5-stars. The other models were the Jaguar XF, Renault Fluence ZE, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Fiat Panda and the MG6.
The Emgrand EC7 scored well in protecting adult passengers. The Europ NCAP crash ratings showed that in a front end collision the passenger compartment remains stable. However, there was significant deformation in the driver's footwell area, were metal actually teared. The Emgrand EC7 therefore scored poorly in protecting a driver's feet and ankles. The Emgrand EC7 did score well in protecting against whiplash injuries in the event of a rear-end collision.
Where the Emgrand EC7 scored particularly well was protecting child passengers. In testing of the 3-year old dummy, forward movement was slight and all dummies were properly contained by the shells of the restraints. This means that the probability of head injury is unlikely.
Even with some weak areas, overall the Geely Emgrand EC7 scored well in the majority of the test. Most likely a good sign of the safety Geely vehicles.
“These results mark a milestone for the Chinese automotive industry. It is a clear sign that Chinese car makers are building on recent experiences and rapidly investing in better vehicle safety. Even with the upcoming increased demands, five stars are expected to be within reach soon.” commented Michiel van Ratingen, Euro NCAP’s Secretary General.
“As we prepare to launch the Geely brand in the UK this high safety rating is very welcome and it will be a significant element of the total peace of mind.” said Matthew Cheyne, Market Development Director of Geely Auto UK. He added, “In the past Chinese domestic market vehicles have perhaps had an unfair reputation for safety but this latest Euro NCAP rating shows our new generation vehicles provide a competitive high level of safety and build quality.”
“Chinese manufacturing and product quality have improved dramatically over the last few years,” added Cheyne, “The factory where the EC7 is built is one of the most modern I have ever seen. It’s a state of the art, world class manufacturing facility.”
It seems if Mr. Cheyne's statements are accurate if Geely has been able to receive such good marks in a difficult safety analysis like the Euro NCAP crash test ratings.
When the The Emgrand EC7 becomes available in the UK it will have 2 body styles to choose from, a 4-door sedan and 5-door hatchback. Engine options will be a 1.5 liter mated to a manual transmission or a 1.8 liter, which an automatic will be available. All engines that will be available will be gasoline. There is no word yet on a diesel engine option. Prices are expected to start from just under £10,000 (which is roughly $15,000 US dollars) and each car will be covered by a five-year, 100,000 miles warranty.
With the introduction of the Emgrand EC7 Geely Auto UK hopes to introduce to at least one new model range every year for the next 4-5 years. If the cars Geely hopes to introduce get just as good safety ratings as the Emgrand EC7, than Chinese cars might do well in Britain and Europe. Maybe eventually even in America.
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