Of all the Chinese automakers in attendance this year at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, Geely is the only one with cars we believe could actually be sold in the U.S. We have no idea if its new FC sedan, which debuted in China just five months ago, would pass strict U.S. safety and emissions standards, but its design, features and build quality seemed just up to snuff for an American consumer shopping for an inexpensive four-door sedan.
The FC was developed in-house by Geely and features a 1.8L four-cylinder with variable valve timing producing 137 horsepower and mated to a five-speed manual. A 13-second trip to 62 mph isn't a world record, but it's just enough to keep up with traffic and return good fuel economy at the same time. There's also an available in-dash navigation system, dual airbags, and ABS brakes with electronic brake force distribution. The interior, as well, didn't look or feel like it was made from recycled Tonka toys.
Mind you, we're not saying the FC would set the sales charts on fire in the U.S., but it could be competitive with the bottom dwellers in its class. For a Chinese automaker hoping to sell cars in the world's largest market, that's progress.