BEIJING, April 24 (Xinhua) -- A sports utility vehicle (SUV) launched by Chinese own-brand automaker Geely Motor at a Beijing auto show on Tuesday is the company's latest stab at establishing a place in this rapidly growing niche segment of the world's largest car market.
The GLEagle GX7, with a choice of manual and automatic transmission, is priced from 92,900 yuan (14,746 U.S. dollars) to 129,900 yuan. It is available with displacements of 1.8 liters, 2.0 liters and 2.4 liters.
Liu Jinliang, vice president of the Zhejiang-based auto company, said at the ongoing Beijing International Automotive Exhibition that the new model was a design Geely Motor came up with as part of a strategic transformation of its business.
Geely Motor entered the Chinese auto market in 1996 with low-end automobiles targeted at consumers in second- and third-tier cities and rural regions.
The company started a strategic transition in 2007 and built a sub-brand, GLEagle, in 2008, hoping to enjoy the more profitable high-end market.
GX7, which made its debut at the 2009 Shanghai auto show, was the first SUV ever built by the company.
China's SUV market has witnessed robust growth over the past few years as more young buyers are attracted to this brawny vehicle.
Statistics from the Chinese Association of Automobile Manufacturers showed that SUV sales in 2011 rose 20.19 percent year-on-year to 1.59 million, in comparison to the mild 2.45 percent growth of the auto market overall.