Chinese carmaker Geely has reported solid sales and profit for the first half of 2017. Q1 2017 profit more than doubled, the sharpest jump in eight years, thanks to well-received China domestic models designed with its Swedish unit Volvo, Reuters reports.

The Hangzhou-based carmaker, which also has a stake in Malaysian carmaker Proton, shifted a good number of the GC9 sedan and Boyue SUV in China, where auto sales growth has of late softened.

“So far in 2017, the group’s performance has exceeded management’s original expectations despite a generally weaker market in China during the same period,” the company said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

Net profit stood at 4.34 billion yuan (RM2.79 billion), 128% higher than the 1.91 billion yuan the company made in the same period last year and beating estimates. This was underpinned by sales that jumped 89%

Sales jumped 89% in the first seven months of the year, which led to Geely raising its full year sales target by 10% to 1.1 million units in 2017. That’s a huge jump from the 766,000 vehicles Geely sold in 2016.

The main driver is domestic sales. The business environment in key export markets such as Eastern Europe and the Middle East remained weak, Geely says, and it expects no change for the rest of 2017.

In the future, Geely will deploy the new Lynk & Co brand in developed markets such as Western Europe and the US. Earlier this month, Geely completed the formation of two new joint ventures with Volvo to co-operate on automotive technologies, purchasing and the future development of the Lynk & Co brand.

“These joint ventures will create significant value for our automotive brands. We aim to deliver global economies of scale by facilitating closer cooperation between our brands on shared vehicle architectures, powertrain development and electrification, while offering synergies that will enable Lynk & Co to achieve its full potential,” Geely chairman Li Shufu said at the JV’s signing ceremony in Hangzhou.

The hot-selling Boyue (it was launched in March 2016, but demand still outstrips supply today) will be the base of Proton’s first ever SUV that will debut next year. We’ve driven the Boyue, and you can read our first impressions report.

GALLERY: Geely Boyue