AGMC has a showroom operating for Geely in Dubai, and will soon add Sharjah to the network. An Abu Dhabi presence is set for early 2024. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: The dealership AGMC is hitting the ground running with Geely, the Chinese auto brand for which it acquired UAE-wide rights recently. Not just that, AGMC intends to make a strong case for ‘affordable EVs’ using the Geely alliance.

That would mean offering a Geely EV option priced around Dh129,000 and marking a clear gap on the majority of EV price choices officially available in the market. Industry sources rate any pick up in demand for EVs as the next big breakthrough for the UAE car market. Currently, EV sales make up around 5 per cent, and the majority that would be with fleet operators.

For AGMC – its legacy built around being the dealer for BMW, the MINI and Rolls-Royce – the tie-up with Geely represents quite a break from the past. But the need was quite clear for AGMC for ‘mainstream options’, as Andreas Schaaf, Divisional CEO – New Ventures at AGMC puts it.

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“While selling premium cars in the UAE brings stability of growth, we had to do more given all the changes sweeping through the mobility business,” said Schaaf. “It’s not any more about selling cars to an end-user. The entire ecosystem of the auto industry has changed – and being with a mainstream car brand such as Geely is part of this change for AGMC.

This year, the UAE auto space has seen a flurry of Chinese car brands position themselves. Al-Futtaim has BYD, Al Ghurair Investments got Exeed, and there is also the launch by Hongqi.

Andreas Schaaf, Divisional CEO – New Ventures at AGMC
"People are only coming to realise the likely impact of Chinese automakers and their models in the global market," said Schaaf.

AGMC has four models and its variations in the market, including a SUV. The alliance has been supported by a showroom in Deira and will be extended to include Sharjah by summer and Abu Dhabi early next year.

And Schaaf promises one thing – the same level of bespoke experience for Geely customers at the showrooms that AGMC delivers for BMW and the other super-premium names in its stable.

“The center of gravity that we seek with Geely are for models priced Dh70,000-Dh75,000,” said Schaaf, who’s credentials include stints heading BMW’s India operations as well as with Cadillac in China.

“What we will not do is try and cut prices to win a few more sales. We will operate in the mass market but at price points the Geely models deserve.”

Apart from its own models, Geely’s clout in the global auto market extends to its ownership of Volvo, and significant strategic stakes in Aston Martin, Daimler, Lotus and others. There is also ownership of the company that makes London’s distinctive cabs.

“The future of automotive is electric and Geely is leading in that,” said Schaaf. “This is a company that is not approaching the auto industry with a product mentality but from a technology perspective.”

It’s also why, he believes, the brand has got what it takes to capture quite a presence in the UAE. Of course, with a bit of boost from AGMC.