20 November 2015, Guangzhou, China. Geely Auto’s GC9, the company’s flagship sedan, has won the coveted 2016 “China Car of the Year” award, beating out major international rivals.

The 140 cars that entered the competition underwent road tests from October 2014 through September 2015, with three rounds of voting to eliminate contenders.The first-placed GC9 scored a total of 104 points, the Daimler Maybach S-Class came in second with 61 points and the Jaguar XE came in third with 55 points. This year marked the first time a Chinese vehicle had been entered into the competition.

The China Car of the Year award was established in 2012 by a group of Chinese media in partnership with public relations consultancy Prime Research. The 2016 panel was made up of 22 chief editors, CEOs and chairmens of major Chinese automotive media, including Car Owners, Auto Fan and the Chinese edition of Car Magazine.

A media panelist said, “The GC9 is the first Chinese branded vehicle to enter into the China Car of the Year competition and it shows that Chinese brands are improving rapidly. By working with international talent, Geely Auto is producing increasingly competitive cars. The Geely GC9 left a strong impression intesting on the judges, in terms of design, engineering and handling.”

Since its unveiling at Beijing’s Water Cube in December 2014 the Geely GC9 has received wide recognition from media and consumers both domestically and internationally, especially for its design and power. Geely sold 1,000 units of the GC9 in just 77 minutes in a limited-edition online launch in April 2015. Since then, the vehicle has continued to be popular among customers, with October sales alone reaching just under 5,000 units, outselling many of its global rivals in the Chinese market.

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group CEO An Conghui said, “The Geely GC9 is a great example of the hugely competitive vehicles Geely Auto is producing following its strategic transformation. I’d like to personally thank the organisers for recognizing our efforts.”