New Geely Panda: small but mighty


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NNEKA NWANERI 28/02/2011 00:00:00


The Geely Panda is a new product from China! It is expected to make a revolution in the car industry, and is a euro4 environmental friendly car.

The Panda is a new definition of exquisiteness – inside and outside. This is because of its bionic design, which was vividly applied in every single touch, letting you have a feel of its magical charm.

Its name was modelled from its design element – the Panda bear, incorporated with many elements of the Panda bear: such as its chubby, lovely and cartoon appearance concept.

For now, it is doubtful if any subcompact had received in recent times the rousing reception the Geely product was accorded when it was unveiled at the Get Arena.

The Managing Director of Hyra Motors, sole distributors of Geely products in Nigeria, Mr Seyi Oyinlola, said the model will be assembled in Nigeria by the end of the year. It costs N1.2million, with three years warranty or 100,000 kilometres.

Oyinlola described the Panda as the most affordable new mini-car in the country, adding that the Geely brand has broken through the traditional auto making concept to produce one of the most unique fashionable and individualised cars, creating an era of excellence in the automobile industry.

The design of the Geely Panda is based on a four star assessment. It also meets the requirements of safety regulations, giving a high level of safety performance.

Some of its safety configurations include six airbags, including the main, secondary and on the left and right chair; a pretension seatbelt, all geared to provide all round 360 degree angle protection guarantee for the safety of the driver and the passengers.

Its engine has a sinkable design, such that when a collision occurs, the engine sinks, which can reduce the damage on it.

The rear bumper comes in plastic steel materials, so that if a mild collision occurs, it will not be sunken and will reduce the cost of its repair.

The Panda has an admirable design, with an Electric Power Steering System (EPS), making the car ‘agile’ when running at low speed and steady at high speed. It also allows for fuel efficiency.

The steering wheel is soft and has a comfortable sense of grip, which can be adjusted to the comfort of the driver.

The headrest of the seat can be adjusted and comes with child lock safety protection. The rear seats can also be folded.

It has a constant temperature air conditioner and self luminescent panel design that can effectively block off light reflection for safe night driving. Its CD player has wide choices for the customer, as it has a USB interface.

The headlamp comes with black frames, adding a certain similarity between the car’s fascia head with that of the animal panda. It is called the “panda eye”, same as the black eye socket of the panda.

Its remote control system makes it easy to operate and very concise with an electric rearview mirror.

“It will be meaningless to simply compare appearance and price. The Panda promises to give an environmental protection by giving superior energy efficiency resources and remarkable fuel efficiency. The panda is indeed small, but mighty,” Oyinlola said.

No micro mini, he said, in the country matches the new Panda. This is one of the best cars to have come out of China. It will start a revolution in the Nigerian automobile industry.”

Still on its safety, the Panda is based on the standards of C-NCAP four -star assessment and also meets the requirements of U-NCAP safety regulations.

The body of the Panda adopts the design of full closed structure and can effectively absorb the bump from a different direction, thus providing more powerful protection for the driver and passengers.

The front and rear bumper adopts the reinforced design. Inside the four doors are additionally features equipped with double anti-collision steel bars and high strength.

Besides, Oyinlola noted that the Panda also boasts of new vehicle manufacturing concept, inline with standard of Geely’ s strategy transformation, representing the small vehicle of new era, with fashion, personality and high performance chassis.

“The Panda (LC) has been positioned to compete favourably in its segment leveraging on its advanced technology, safety configuration, spacious interior and its fuel economy advantage.

“It is a competitive small vehicle with the concept of large interior space, excellent suspension system and refined control performance. The Panda is certified with the five star crash test rating and this guarantees safety configuration. Quality is also assured considering the fact that the vehicle has successfully undergone four excellent processes namely, welding assembly line, painting robot, jig for flexible welding assembly and AC performance test room,” Oyinlola said.

Basic highlight of the Panda, according to him, includes design element, headlamp, rear lamp, among others.

The car is a subcompact, city car with features one is sure to see mainly in vehicles from higher segments. It is the product of a country, which auto technology is beginning to earn for itself the respect it deserves. It is also a car that is set to upset the status quo by hitting the Nigerian market wearing a price tag that makes it the most affordable ‘smallie’ around.

Hinting that Geely Panda is by far cheaper than the cheapest competitor, Oyinlola went on to reel out a long list of provisions in the car, some of which are absent in the closest rivals.

They include a “highly rated” air-conditioning system, CD player with MP3/radio with six-channel speakers, front/rear fog lamps and alloy wheels; Anti-lock brakes (ABS) with electronic brake distribution (EBD), backup radar, energy-absorbing steering column, electronic anti-theft system and an optional range of six airbags. Geely Panda has a wide selection of bright colours such as pure white, moonlight silver, lime green, yellow wheat ear, and lucky red.

Oyinlola used the forum to recommend Chinese vehicles, especially the Geely and Brilliance brands which Hyra Motors has to a large extent endeared to many a buyer in the Nigerian market. For instance, while the global recession raged in 2009, Hyra admitted that most buyers of European and Japanese vehicles, turned to the Chinese duo, and till date, have no regrets for allowing themselves to be ‘seduced’ by the most unlikely options.

And to further use the opportunity provided by the Panda launch to address public doubts about the automobile products from China, the Hyra boss disclosed that last year Geely Automobile of China acquired 100 percent shares of Volvo.

“If the Chinese (Geely) are not good and serious, why would they pay as much as $1.8 million to acquire Volvo?” he asked.


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