One of China’s largest car manufacturers and distributors, Geely, is about enter the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite business by manufacturing its own satellites for a commercial LEO constellation. The first satellites are expected to be launched by end-2020.
The announcement was made on March 3, when Geely officially began construction of a satellite production and testing centre in Taizhou City in Zhejian pPovince, where Geely is headquartered. The facility will include a modular satellite manufacturing centre, satellite testing centre, satellite R&D centre, and cloud computing centre.
Geely’s entry into the LEO satellite market is meant to complement its car manufacturing business by using satellite Internet-of-Things (IoT) to enhance mobility, and also to augmenting existing navigation systems.
Chairman of Geely Holding Group, Li Shufu, said, “The pace at which science and technology is developing has reached an unprecedented level, changing human society at its core. Today, the automotive industry faces huge challenges and equally huge opportunities. Geely must take the initiative to embrace change, develop through innovation, find new synergies online and offline, and cooperate with global partners to become a global technology leader, drive change in mobility, and create new value for users.”
Each satellite will last up to 10 years, and will be designed to burn up in the atmosphere after completing operations.