Boasting state of the art equipment and experienced staff, including support from Chinese trained technicians seconded to SA, the R&D Centre will evaluate current and future models for the South African market.
Mervyn Harding, who will oversee this new R&D facility, says the centre is already operational.
“We will be evaluating a number of products, which may become available for right hand drive markets in the future, ranging from completely new models, to different derivatives of models already seen on our roads.
Needless to say, we continue with thorough testing of endurance and quality issues, with suggestions, feedback and local adaptation as the key priorities in our ongoing communication with Geely International,” he says.
“The typical feedback relates to the suitability to our needs and general usage, local climate and distances, altitudes, typical speeds etc., to mention but a few.
Specific technical assessment is done regarding gear and differential ratios, cooling systems, suspension rigidity and geometry, noise, vibration and harshness and fuel consumption.”
The R&D facility will further serve as the region’s technical training facility, and as a support function for both Geely customers and Geely approved dealers.
“Should there be any assistance needed by dealers on a vehicle with a problem too far, we will bring the vehicle to the centre and support the diagnostic process. Once again, this is vital for field technical reports and fixes, along with the constant feedback to Geely International pertaining to the performance of the product locally,” says Harding.
The R&D facility is preparing for the arrival of three new products or derivatives, which should be in South Africa by mid December, for further evaluation, homologation and eventual launch into the local market.
Henri Meistre, Managing Director of Geely South Africa, welcomed the new facility.
“The Research and Development facility is the first phase in our investment on R&D and training. However, as the need arises and the product matures, so Geely South Africa will invest and grow with the brand in order to meet the requirements of Geely International and those of our very sophisticated market.”
The Geely R&D Centre will be officially opened on December 20th, when a special delegation from China arrives.