Geely’s EC7 sedan, a 1.8-litre sub-$16,000 car that could hit Australian showrooms by September, is the second of the maker’s vehicles to become available in Australia but, says importer John Hughes, the most vital.
“This is an important car for us because it comprises all the safety and quality features we demanded,’’ he says, “the EC7 is the result of a lot of hard work - in Australia and China - to bring affordable cars into the country. And I think it’s a fantastic effort, in terms of looks, features, safety and performance.’’
But it first needs an acceptable safety rating. Mr Hughes expects the EC7 to get a minimum of a four-star crash rating by NCAP-standard tests completed early this week in China by Geely.
“We’ll take those test results, when they are made available to us, and then offer 10 cars to ANCAP for its own evaluation,’‘ Mr Hughes says, “if they don’t tests them, I’ll pay for testing myself. It is so important that we get this right. Safety is a very high priority for buyers and we want to get the highest level possible within an affordable price range.’’
The EC7 will be the first car from Geely’s national distributors John Hughes Group to meet Australia’s car safety standards, including the electronic stability control.
John Hughes sells the Geely MK1.5, a small sedan or hatch, in WA only. It does not have ESC as standard and retires from the market at the end of this year.
Australia will import two Geely EC7 sedans, all with a 1.8-litre engine, five-speed manual transmission, six airbags, electronic stability control and alloy wheels.
The “base’’ model has leather upholstery and a four-speaker audio and the luxury models adds a sunroof, Bluetooth with six speakers, sat-nav, reverse park sensors and an electric driver’s seat. weaThe car has a three-year or 100,000km warranty with a five-year driveline warranty.
Mr Gailey says the Geely products meet European emission standards for waterborne paint and have high pedestrian safety scores.
The EC7 could be followed by an SUV version. But Australia won’t get the bigger EC8 model because it is not made in right-hand drive.
John Hughes and CAD director Rod Gailey joined eight Australian dealers to view the Geely and ZX products at the Shanghai motor show.
Geely will provide the importer with its mainstream sedan while rival Chinese company ZX will continue making utes for the Australian market.