Chinese automaker Geely hires former Bentley design chief

A building of the Geely Car Research Institute is viewed in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, China, Aug. 4, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Image

BEIJING, Sept 6 (Reuters) – Chinese automaker Geely (GEELY.UL) has employed Stefan Sielaff, the former design and style main of British luxury brand Bentley, as China’s brands significantly convert to new designs to improve sales in the world’s most significant motor vehicle market place.

Sielaff, who also labored for Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) and Daimler AG (DAIGn.DE), will be based mostly in Sweden’s Gothenburg and lead style the domestic Geely, Zeekr, Lynk & Co and Geometry models, the corporation explained in a assertion.

He will not handle design and style for its Volvo and Polestar brands.

Chinese auto firms historically rolled out products that seemed identical to overseas brand names. But as revenue improved, lots of – such as Geely, Good Wall (601633.SS) and BYD (002594.SZ) – developed up their have studios, typically led by worldwide designers, to create refreshing designs.

Hangzhou-based mostly Geely, which owns Volvo Cars and a 9.7% stake in Daimler, has turned to far more sporty styles to strengthen car prices. Gross sales at rival Changan (000625.SZ) jumped this 12 months thanks to its extra futuristic layouts, although Wonderful Wall’s off-highway sports activities utility motor vehicles are also preferred.

The increased emphasis will come as vehicle layout is turning into much more challanging, with the go to electrical cars and smarter driving programs that involve a lot more exterior sensors.

Chinese trip hailing large Didi Worldwide Inc (DIDI.N) lately employed Matthew Swann, beforehand with Tata Motors (TAMO.NS) and Great Wall, to guide exterior layout of its motor vehicles. Baidu (9888.HK) Jidu employed ex-Cadillac designer Frank Wu.

Reporting by Yilei Sunshine and Brenda Goh enhancing by Richard Pullin

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