Geely Auto has released its sales figures for 2018, and they show a 20.3% increase to 1,500,838 units. In 2017, Geely sold 1,247,116 vehicles for what was then an all-time record for the Chinese carmaker. Last year’s tally is also the first time that Geely has breached the 1.5 million units sales mark.

Over half of the total units sold were SUVs – to be exact, 857,922 units, or 57% of the 1.5m. The lion’s share was contributed by the Geely Boyue with 255,695 units. The midsize SUV – the base for the Proton X70 – has sold over 650,000 units since its launch in March 2016. This is followed by the Emgrand GS with 157,638 units and the value-focused Vision SUV and Vision X3 SUV (113,309 and 116,944 units respectively).

Geely’s first crossover on the new BMA architecture, the Bin Yue, was launched in October 2018 in China and sold a combined 23,361 units in just over two months.

In the sedan segment, the new Emgrand continues to be the best-selling Chinese sedan for the seventh year running with 246,933 units last year. The affordable Vision sedan sold 143,851 units, while the Emgrand GL sold 148,531 units, an increase of 20% in one of China’s most competitive segments.

Geely’s flagship Bo Rui GE sedan managed 44,299 units, an increase of 4% year-on-year. The carmaker’s first sedan based on the BMA architecture, Bin Rui, sold 33,084 units in the four months of 2018 that it was on the market.

The company’s Lynk & Co brand, which is marketed as a premium brand in China, had a strong showing in its first full year on the market. Sales breached the 10,000 mark for six straight months, with a final tally of 120,414 units.

Lynk & Co’s first model, the 01 SUV, sold 89,405 units, while the smaller 02 that joined late in the year contributed 21,751 units. The brand launched its 03 model in October, and the sedan found 9,258 homes in two months.

Geely says that 65% of Lynk & Co’s customers were upgrading from a foreign joint venture car, and over 70% of 02 and 03 sales were for costlier, higher trim models.

The Hangzhou-based carmaker says that its brand success has been focused around putting market demand and customer experience at the forefront of every process, from design and engineering to the purchasing and the after-sales experience. Its consumers are younger and more urbanised than ever before with more than 50% of them from first and second tier cities, and 51% being born in the 1990s or later.

Geely’s domestic dealership footprint grew significantly last year, and of the 200 new outlets added, over 45% were coming in from established joint venture brands. Lynk & Co has 212 dealerships and is expecting a further 114 new ones this year.

This year, Geely aims to introduce new models in new segments, such as the MPV market with the VF11 Jiaji. The company will also roll out mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of all its key models such as the Bin Yue, Bin Rui and Emgrand GL. The Lynk & CO 02 and 03 will also feature electrification. Geely will also make use of the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) for the first time, with the introduction of the FY11 Coupe SUV.

“In the new year, Geely Auto will continue being focused on the market, pay close attention to user demands, and increase our market share in China and globally. Geely will fully tap into the potential of our whole ecosystem, strengthen our capability to develop sustainably, and create high-quality, high-tech, and high-value products for our users,” said An Cong Hui, Geely Auto’s group president and CEO.

The company has set has set its sales target for 2019 at 1.51 million units.