- Radar RD6 offers more than 600km range. Roughly the same size as Ford Ranger
- Volvo could act as official importer for Radar Auto in Australia
- Volvo will also begin talks with Lynk & Co to import its models
A door has opened that could see Geely’s new electric ute, the Radar Auto RD6, join the Aussie market place.
Volvo Australia has emerged as a potential candidate to import the Chinese ute in an arrangement that would double the number of electric dual-cabs available Down Under. Currently the only fully electric ute offered here is the upcoming LDV eT60 which launches locally in the middle of November.
Revealed earlier this year, the Radar RD6 is the first vehicle from Radar Auto which is a new lifestyle-orientated sub-brand from Chinese automotive giant Geely. Volvo is also owned by Geely and it’s that family connection that has caught the eye of Volvo Australia boss Stephen Connor.
“What I’d love to do is talk to our Geely counterparts and say to them ‘we will be the sales company for you for Radar’,” Connor told Wheels. “That could be a possibility. It’s no different to them going to Ateco (the official importer of LDV, Maserati and RAM among others) or something like that.
“If that’s what they want to do and bring it [the Radar RD6] to Australia then that’s something we could do and help them with back office functions and training.”
Radar Auto estimates the dual-cab segment will expand to 3 million annual sales in China by 2030 and has confirmed plans to build SUVs and even ATVs (all terrain vehicles) to be sold alongside its electric ute. The RD6 is Radar’s first model and will be built on Geely’s Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) which also underpins a host of current and upcoming models from Volvo, Lynk & Co and Polestar.
“It’s the same platform so we could do training for the team, we could do technical support and sales support,” said Connor. “I’d love to offer them that because I think it’d be a great way to broaden our skill sets plus also help at the retailer level.”
When asked if Volvo Australia has already approached Radar Auto or Geely about the opportunity, Connor replied: “No, not yet. We will do. We will do.”
Official details on the Radar RD6 are scarce although it’s understood to be around 5.2 metres long and roll on a 3120mm wheelbase which makes it slightly smaller than a Ford Ranger. It’s also believed to be offered with three battery sizes: 66kWh, 86kWh or 100kWh. The largest battery is said to offer a range of 610km.
But it’s not just Radar that’s on the, er, radar for Volvo Australia. Conner added he sees potential in offering a similar importer arrangement to Lynk & Co.
Lynk & Co 01 shares its underpinnings with the Volvo XC40
“Again we will offer them the same,” he said. “We will start that conversation with them and if they want to come they do, if they don’t, they’re a different company. So it’s no different to how we interact with Polestar. We work with Polestar to offer back office services, we offer them training and support but we treat each other like competitors.”
Lynk & Co has already confirmed it will have an official presence in Australia by 2025 so it’s unclear how Connor’s offer will impact those plans.
Similar to Cupra’s relationship with Volkswagen, Lynk & Co is the Geely Group’s youth-orientated sub-brand. It was established in 2016 and its current SUV and passenger car line-up shares platforms and powertrains with Volvo.
Like Volvo, Lynk & Co plans to launch five new electric models before 2025, all spun off Geely’s SEA architecture. The Chinese brand has an interesting approach to selling cars. While you can buy one of its models outright, in Europe most customers subscribe to their cars on rolling month-by-month contracts. The subscription includes the car, insurance and access to other benefits like music tickets and exclusive events. Lynk & Co is marketing the subscription service as a chance to “leave the ownershit behind”.