The Briton who smoothed out Volvo’s boxy lines and put signature radiator grilles on Lincolns for Ford is aiming to give China’s Geely range global appeal by ditching its utilitarian image. Reuters reports that Peter Horbury is central to efforts by Geely – long seen as a cheap, no-frills brand in China and unknown in the western world – to push upmarket and go international by tapping European design and technology. Zhejiang Geely Holding Group’ purchase of struggling Swedish carmaker Volvo from Ford in 2010 has helped it leapfrog a decade of research and development. Volvo and Geely each sold about half a million cars last year while Toyota, Volkswagen and General Motors sold around 10 million each.
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