Geely Becomes A Top 10 Automaker Globally

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Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, which also includes Volvo Cars, has become the 10th best selling automaker in the world. That’s noteworthy in part because more than a third of its sales are now plugin vehicle sales, and the company could be a 100% plugin vehicle company by 2030 or so. It’s also noteworthy because BYD is right on its tail, is far and away the leader of the China plugin vehicle market and global plugin vehicle market, and is already a 100% plugin vehicle company.

Geely had 730,000 vehicle sales in the first quarter of 2024, and it had more than 250,000 plugin vehicle sales. As the Chinese market electrifies more and more, and as Volvo Cars sees a higher and higher percentage of its sales in Europe and North America coming with a plug, I expect Geely to rapidly reach 50% plugin sales. Also recall that it’s got 100% electric brands — Zeekr, Polestar, and Lynk & Co.

There’s been a lot of discussion about Chinese automakers being able to freely sell electric vehicles in the USA and Europe or having to pay big tariffs on such imports. However, it has sort of gone under the radar that Volvo Cars and Polestar are effectively Chinese brands now and are well embedded in those markets. That said, my goodness, Zeekr’s vehicles bring a lot to the table and would be nice additions to the EV offerings in these markets. I was never a big fan of Polestar vehicles and think Volvo’s EVs are nice but nothing spectacular, but Zeekr’s EVs are about as good as it gets. It’ll be interesting to see how well the brand can grow outside of China.

In the first quarter of 2023, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group was 12th globally in auto sales. The two automakers it passed in 2024 to rise to 10th place were Mercedes-Benz Group and BMW Group. Geely’s group sales were up 27% year over year. Zeekr’s sales more than doubled, while Volvo Cars saw a 12% increase in sales.

Notably, the first quarter of the year is a weak one for Chinese automakers due to the long Chinese New Year. So, expect Geely to not only hold its position globally but probably even rise up the rankings further.

While the bulk of the company’s sales occur in China, Geely is actually growing the most outside of China. Its sales outside of its home country increased 43% in January–March. (Note that BYD — which is the company we talk about more when it comes to bringing electric vehicles to developing and developed countries around the world — saw 150% growth in its overseas sales in the first quarter!)

The question now for me is: how high can Geely rise? Can it rise up to 7th, 6th, or even 5th place in the global automaker ranking? It may be going about its business quietly, but I think it can. By 2030, I expect to see Geely fighting for a place in the top five. What do you expect?

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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