Geely has reported sales of 1,320,217 units in 2020 (including Lynk & Co), beating its 2020 revised annual target. The carmaker says that both its namesake brand and Lynk & Co have seen market share grow, and Geely retains its position as the best-selling Chinese brand for four consecutive years. The 2019 tally was 1,361,560 units, so it’s just slightly lower despite a virtual shutdown of China’s auto market in Q1 due to Covid-19.

China has bounced back from the coronavirus and life there is pretty much normal these days, in contrast to many parts of the world. Geely will “focus on adjusting it product strategy” this year, and with new models on the way, its 2021 sales target is 1.53 million units, a 16% increase from 2020.

While 2020 was a difficult year, it saw Geely celebrate some milestones. The Hangzhou-based carmaker sold its 10 millionth vehicle last year, becoming the first Chinese brand to reach that mark. A total of 72,700 vehicles were exported in 2020, a year-on-year increase of 25.3%. Turning the challenge brought about by Covid-19 into opportunity, Geely says that it accelerated its digital transformation and doubled efforts in driving development through innovation.

As for new models, last year saw the launch of the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) based Preface sedan, which is called Xing Rui in China. The second Geely model to be underpinned by the CMA after the Xing Yue SUV coupe, the Preface is the firm’s first model to have Firmware Over the Air (FOTA) updates. The D-segment sedan went on to win the 2021 China Car of the Year award.

Geely also rolled out its second B-segment Modular Architecture (BMA) based SUV last year. The Icon was launched at the height of the Covid-19 wave in China, which saw Geely do things differently – a digital launch ceremony, drones to deliver keys to new owners, and an N95 air purification system to protect occupants from harmful elements. The previous BMA-based SUV was the Binyue a.k.a. Proton X50, and the Icon could not have looked more different.

In 2020, Geely continued its global expansion with new models launched in Russia, Philippines, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Myanmar.

Moving on to Lynk & Co, the “hipster” brand 50% owned by Geely Auto (the other half is owned by sister company Volvo). 2020 was a milestone year for the young brand, as it officially entered the European market in October and unveiled its first fully electric concept model based on the new Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA), the Lynk & Co Zero.

Since its first model surfaced in late 2017, Lynk & Co has garnered more than 400,000 users by end of 2020. The brand set new monthly sales records for the past six consecutive months and has momentum on its side.

Looking forward, Geely will bring to market “a variety of new high value models”. Its namesake brand will roll out a new CMA-based SUV and sedan, as well as several updated models, Geely says. As for Lynk & Co, we can look forward to the production version of the Zero concept, and the first Lynk & Co model developed on Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA).

GALLERY: Geely Icon