- Roman, Red Dragon is the exclusive distributor of Geely in our country, and not the official representative of the brand, as we reported in the previous issue. We apologize, but since it happened, tell us in more detail how your functions differ? What is the exclusive distributor’s competency?
- Due to its organizational structure, the Geely representative office cannot directly engage in sales, and it was decided to transfer this key function to our company. A very important point is exclusivity. This means that only Red Dragon has the official right to wholesale Geely cars and spare parts for them in Russia.
In addition, the functions of the company include the creation and development of a dealer network, technical support (including certification) of Geely products, warranty service and after-sales support. A special place is occupied by marketing activities to promote the brand - in fact, it is Red Dragon who is building the Geely brand in Russia.- Does Geely interfere with the already existing, and not too positive, image of the Chinese car, are you satisfied with how customers perceive these cars, what do you plan to do to correct the situation?
- Indeed, Chinese cars do not have the best image in Russia, unlike, say, Ukraine, where Geely occupies 3% of the entire market and, in terms of brand perception, is in the same niche as Korean cars. However, the situation is changing, as the quality of Chinese cars and their service is steadily increasing. Buyers can compare the characteristics of the same Geely MK with the characteristics of classmates and make sure that our car has several advantages and at the same time is offered at a lower price. We hope that over time, our efforts to develop the Geely lineup, its after-sales service and promotion will strengthen the brand’s positive image.
- How promising is the Russian market for Chinese cars? Who are your competitors in the Russian market?
- Most residents of Russia still need affordable cars, the quality and reliability of which would correspond to today. And it’s not so important what they will be in terms of their “nationality”. Chinese automakers, including Geely, are ready to offer such cars. Therefore, the market as a whole can be considered promising. For existing Geely models, we primarily consider our competitors to be popular budget models from Korean and European manufacturers, such as Renault Logan, Chevrolet Lanos and Lacetti, Daewoo Nexia, etc.
- Tell us more about the plans for 2010. What models are you planning to bring?
- Due to the crisis, we were not able to expand our lineup in 2009 (now it is represented by two MK and Vision models), but in 2010 we want to catch up. Therefore, there are plans to launch at least two new products in the most popular segments for today. It will be a city golf sedan and a brand new crossover from Geely. In addition, the update is waiting for the popular Vision and considers the possibility of producing MK hatchback.
- What are the sales statistics for 2009? How many Geely car dealerships are there today, how many are planned, how is the situation with service maintenance?
- In 2009, we sold about 8 thousand Geely cars in Russia. For the Chinese brand in the current difficult conditions, this is an excellent result - according to the results of the year, we took first place among Chinese manufacturers with almost double margin from their closest competitor - Chery (based on AEB data). This, of course, is a huge merit of our dealer network - by the way, the largest among competitors, which now includes 128 dealer enterprises. As for the service, we try to supply dealers with spare parts as quickly as possible. To do this, we have a central warehouse of spare parts, delivery from which to any dealer takes no more than a week.