Geely Launches SUV With “Virus Protection” Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Geely previewed the concept version of their subcompact SUV in 2018 and was all set to launch the production version this past February 14th. But the outbreak of the Coronavirus rained on their parade and the event had to be cancelled. Not to be dissuaded, the Chinese automaker launched the ICON via live-streaming on February 24th, with a new feature in the spotlight: the G-Clean Intelligent Air Purification System (IAPS), which sterilises and purifies the cabin air using negative ion purification. It promises to be so effective that it can “isolate and eliminate harmful elements in the cabin air including bacteria and viruses”.

Like the Coronavirus hospitals that were built in just over a week, the engineers at Geely seemed to have magicked this purification system sometime between the cancelled event and virtual launch. Essentially, being inside the car is akin to being on the inside of an N95 mask, but much cosier and not as stuffy.

So, perhaps Geely is selling you the idea of climbing into your brand new Geely ICON, locking the doors and waiting out the epidemic, and the must-have benefit of the IAPS will be showcased when, heaven forbid, a pedestrian sneezes on your car.

Okay, that’s not to say that the IAPS is of no use at all. In air-pollution-prone cities in China and around the world, it will help passengers avoid breathing air particulates during their daily commute. However, in this case, this writer has watched enough zombie apocalypse movies to know that it’s not the infected people outside that should scare you, but the ones on the inside you should be wary of. When it comes to bacteria and virus, they often find their way into vehicles via the driver and passengers themselves.

With no end to the Coronavirus epidemic and car sales in China plunging (by over 90% in February!), no doubt the marketing folks over at Geely just saw an opportunity that they couldn’t resist…

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