MANILA - Japanese trading house Sojitz Corp. will start selling passenger cars produced by Chinese automaker Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. in the Philippines this year to meet the growing demand for new vehicles.
Sojitz said Monday it established wholly owned Sojitz G Auto Philippines Corp. to import Geely brand compact cars, multipurpose vehicles and sport utility vehicles and provide after-sales service.
The Japanese trader said in a statement that it and Geely Automobile have signed a distribution agreement in the Southeast Asian country.
Sojitz G Auto will start operations by year-end, a Sojitz spokesman told NNA. "Although Chinese brand commercial vehicles have become established in the Philippines, there is still room to enter the passenger car segment," he said.
Sojitz will also consider replicating the arrangement with China's largest privately owned automaker in other countries after assessing sales in the Philippines, the spokesman added.
In the Philippines, local vehicle production can meet only about one-third of annual new vehicle sales due to a surge in demand in recent years.
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., the parent company of Geely Automobile, has consolidated its overseas foothold through the takeovers of European carmakers. (NNA/Kyodo)