The way the new Geely KX11 was introduced and described during the recent opening 19 Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition was more akin to the launch of a new smartphone than an SUV.
Consider these featured highlights: The KX11 is equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8155 chip supporting 5G high-speed network, and one core driving multiple screens—a one-meter IMAX screen across the center console, a 25.6-inch AR-HUD heads-up display, and a 12.3-inch intelligent instrument screen—creating an intelligent cockpit with the largest screen-to-body ratio.
Perhaps, one can ultimately consider the KX11—also known as Xingyue L or the SUV Liberator KX11—as both, as Geely intends to make the “Liberator Action” fully use “the power of science and technology to subvert industry standards and user experience with service innovation, and reshape the industry landscape.”
But is the Philippine market ready for such an SUV?
In an exclusive interview, Michael Song, general manager for Geely Automobile International Corp (GAIC), said: “The KX11 will be equipped with advanced 5G connectivity technology. For Geely, technology is always our important development direction. As for the launch plan in the Philippines, we need to conduct in-depth analysis and research based on local market demand, customer feedback and development in the automobile industry in the Philippines. Whether models like KX11 will be launched in the Philippines is still under discussion. Please stay tuned with us.”
Song described the KX11 as “the third blockbuster product based on Geely’s CMA modular architecture, pushing through the limit into the luxurious D-Segment with its more textured exterior interior look.” The KX11 follows in the footsteps of Geely’s successful SUVs such as the Coolray and Azkarra.
The KX11, however, is a big step up in the SUV evolutionary ladder. Song said the KX11 comes with “a leading intergenerational advantage in product quality, intelligent technology and intelligent interaction, a perfect example of the ‘Geely 4.0 technology’.”
In terms of autonomous driving, the Xingyue L is equipped with 5G-AVP 1km unmanned parking technology, which enables real-time communication between the car park end, the car cloud end and the mobile end with the help of 5G technology.
This all just means that the vehicle can independently find a parking space, and even locate the owner.
Under Geely’s CMA architecture, the KX11 inherits the five global genes of CMA architecture, namely “safety, health, intelligence, performance and energy saving”.
The CMA architecture is the core of the “Geely Auto 4.0 Era”. The products bred by the CMA architecture enter the “5G era”, making Geely Automobile, and China-made automobiles in general, among the leading technology drivers of the industry in the next 10-15 years. To continuously improve its technological strength, Geely has continued to invest more than 100 billion RMB in R&D in 10 years. In 2020, it invested 4.8 billion RMB in research and development, accounting for 5.2 percent of its revenue.
The bigger picture that comes with the launch of the KX11 is the general outlook that 2021 is anticipated to be a “big product year” for Geely.
“The pandemic did not have any impact on our product R&D (research and development) and layout plan. Besides, when the situation becomes more stable, we also hope that we can communicate more with our users, so that everyone can feel the warmth of Geely,” Song said.
Entering the Philippine market in 2019, Geely broke into the top 10 sales performers of 2020 after its three SUV models—the Coolray, Azkarra and Okavango—proved to be hits with Filipino motorists.
“Geely believes in the importance of reasonable product planning for continuous development. Although the Coolray has become the top model in its segment, it has not yet reached its peak. The Azkarra can be the brand image of Geely in the Philippines, and more creative co-marketing activities can be explored with local users. The most recently launched, the Okavango, is the star model for Geely, as it can be positioned in both SUV and MPV segments. It has been designed to meet the needs of families,” explained Song.
“Definitely, the fourth model (that will be launched in the Philippines) should help us to enhance our brand appeal and broaden our product range,” he added, revealing that the “Launch one, succeed one” strategy has been applied for Geely in the Philippines.