Geely South Africa will celebrate its renaissance under new owners Hallmark Group and Magic Group with its debut participation in the Johannesburg International Motor Show from October 8-16, 2011. As the largest independent automaker in China, Geely's become a major player globally as it acquired Volvo from Ford for $1.8-billion in March, 2010. In 2007 Geely ranked 33rd among the world’s automakers in terms of production with 216 774 units. By 2010 production almost quadrupled to 802 319 and its ranking climbed to 20th. Including Volvo Cars (191 560 units), Geely’s production totalled almost a million (993 879) in 2010 and placed it 19th. PANDA ON DISPLAY - NO, REALLY...On display on the Geely stand will be three new models destined for the South African market in 2012: a crossover version of the recently introduced LC entry-level hatch, a B-segment hatch called the SC5 RV and a D-segment sedan called the EC7. In addition Geely’s current offerings - the MK sedan and MK2 hatch and the recently-launched LC - will be on display. The LC, called Panda in China and featuring a number of style indicators honouring that country’s iconic black-and-white bear, was very well received at the media launch in May, 2011. The little car promises to be a contender in the rapidly growing entry-level of the local new car market. The LC Cross, which has a raised suspension, new all-black interior and unique roof rack, is scheduled to be introduced to the local market early in 2012.Like the LC, the new models all have a five-star Chinese N-CAP safety rating. According to former BMW SA board member John Jessup, now CEO of Geely SA, they represent a new generation of cars which Geely hopes will help it gain a foothold in the European and other Western markets.BIG ON SAFETYGeely describes the SC5 RV as a trendy hatchback with leading safety performance in its segment: "a compact vehicle which offers generous accommodation".The EC7 is also big on safety features and claims to have the highest C-NCAP score of any domestic brand in Chinese crash test history.The D-segment contender has a long wheelbase (2.65m) and generous interior proportions that combine with sleek, modern styling and engineering integrity to meet the highest European standards.“We welcome the return of the Johannesburg International Motor Show,” said Jessup. “It gives us an opportunity to showcase our range of cars and provide a sneak preview of what Geely has to offer the South African motorist in the near future.“We are very enthusiastic about the product coming from Geely, which we believe will rewrite the value-for-money proposition in South Africa.”Since taking over the franchise 18 months ago, the new owners of Geely South Africa have breathed new life into the brand. The company now boasts 45 dealers, up from 12 just over a year ago, and is enjoying growing sales of its recently-launched Geely LC mini car that sells for less than R90 000. Read more reports about the 2011 Johannesburg International Motor Show.