China Geely Group, a private automotive company headquartered in Ningbo, eastern Zhejiang province, on Tuesday announced that it had signed an agreement concerning strategic cooperation for products and technology with the Korean-based Daewoo International Corporation.

The first project of the agreement, named CK-1, brings together more than $US30 million and Korea's four main automotive designing and manufacturing companies -- Daewoo International, Tower Metal Co, Wooshin Co and CES Co.

In the CK-1 project, the four Korean companies will help Geely Group to complete the design, development and manufacture of a range of new cars that will be available on the Chinese market within two years.

"As a privately-owned Chinese enterprise in China's automotive industry, Geely Group feels fully committed to the development of the industry," said Geely Group CEO Xu Gang. "With our own brand, we will have more cooperation with leading companies focusing on the areas of design and manufacturing. As a result of our on-going cooperation and innovation, we hope to produce more affordable cars for the masses."

Geely Group previously held a strategic cooperation agreement with the Italian-based Auto Project Group, designing a series of world-class family saloons.

China Geely's website shows two current car models - the 'Jili Car' and 'Merrie Car'. The hatchback Jili appears to be a slightly redesigned version of Daihatsu's 1988 Charade while the Merrie is a saloon derivative. Engine specifications conform to then-current Daihatsu powerplants.