Li Shufu, the chairman of Geely Automobile, has decided to put on hold his plans to export a Chinese produced vehicle to the United States by 2008 that would start at $10,000. The reason? According to AutoWeek, it sounds like Shufu doesn't think his Chinese domestic cars can hack it in the U.S. on low cost alone. The move apparently prompted the removal of John Harmer, the former COO of Geely USA Inc., from his position, though Shufu has retained him as a consultant. Shufu's new plan is to contract assistance from outside sources to build a car specifically for the U.S. market, as well as to build a new plant to assemble them.
The old plan would have had Geely automobiles on U.S. soil in 2008 or 2009, but the brand's arrival is now unknown. What we'd like to know is the location of this proposed plant. As negative reception of a vehicle produced by a Chinese automaker in the U.S. is a big concern for Geely and its competitors hoping to enter this market, one would think that building those vehicles inside the U.S. would be a good PR move. Nanjing apparently thinks so.