The Zhejiang (Geely Volvo) Orchestra, sponsored by Chinese automaker Geely Holding Group, has been on a performance tour in Europe since mid-September, as part of the company’s efforts to promote its corporate culture and improve brand awareness among foreign countries.
The orchestra played at Stockholm Concert Hall, where the awarding ceremony of Nobel Prizes is held annually, on the night of September 27.
It is the first time Geely has presented in Sweden in an art event after it acquired the country’s auto icon Volvo Car Corp last year. Thus the performance has special meaning for the automaker based in China’s eastern province of Zhejiang, as it expects to be known and recognized by more people in the Nordic country.
The orchestra performed before nearly 1,000 audience classic music from both China and the Western world, as well as a partita adopted from the song “for a beautiful dream”, which is well-known inside Geely with lyrics written by Li Shufu, the company’s chairman.
“The concert is wonderful, impressive and has high standard internationally; it makes the audience excited and intoxicated,” said a director from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Sweden.
“Through this kind of art activity, Geely has gained from the audience deeper understanding on its corporate culture and more respect,” he said.
A Chinese who work in Sweden said that Geely has made overseas Chinese feel proud very much.
Geely bought Volvo in August last year from US manufacturer Ford Motor Corp for $1.8 billion and made a great blueprint to revival the brand within a decade. It envisions that Volvo could enter the top group of luxury auto brands along with its German premium counterparts with global sales doubled to 800,000 units by 2020.
Volvo’s sales worldwide totaled 230,746 units in the first six months of this year, an increase of 20 percent over a year earlier. Its China sales rose 36 percent in the period to 21,000 units. The solid performance has defeated people’s doubt of whether a young Chinese automaker can manage the luxury foreign brand.
Geely plans to leverage the potential of the Chinese market to boost Volvo’s business.
Volvo opened its China headquarters in Shanghai at the beginning of this year, where it also began moves to establish an R&D center.
It is now waiting government approval to build plants in the southwestern city of Chengdu and Daqing in northeastern China.
Volvo targets to sell 200,000 Volvos in China annually by 2015.
A Swedish audience at the concert said that because the connection between Volvo and Geely, the Swedish people now start to care much about the development of the Chinese economy and the future of Geely. A faithful supporter of the brand, the audience said he actually drove a Volvo to the concert.
During the European tour, Zhejiang (Geely) Orchestra played in Italy, Austria, Czech, Germany, Belgium and Sweden, achieving good feedback from the local philharmonic.
Market observers commented that Geely has made a worthy effort to expand brand influence in International markets.