How Red Synergy assisted Geico in its China start-up.

China has become by far one of the most important markets for automotive. Multinationals and local producers are working full steam to guarantee that China will be able to provide its population with transportation.

Geico is one of the only four automotive paint shop producers in the world. Paint shops are some of the most critical and expensive areas composing an automotive factory. With origins dated back to 1905, Geico is a cutting edge engineering and manufacturing company with projects covering four continents including: Italy, France, Russia, Ukraine, Nigeria, Morocco, Brazil and India.

After establishing the Indian business in 2006, Geico was looking for a new market to conquer. Thanks to a thorough market research – combined with an ambitious strategy to develop a zero emissions paint shop – the opportunity came when a major Chinese automotive producer asked Geico to build the paint shop of the future in China. Read more

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Due to its significant expertise in advising companies investing in China – especially when legal support is combined with project management – Red Synergy was selected to assist with the contracts negotiations and to support Geico to start-up an R&D center in Suzhou, China.

Complexities of the project

The sales contract required dealing with several issues simultaneously: legal matters, international financings, tax issues. Furthermore, Geico had to register its China business within 5 months.

Red Synergy developed a project plan to understand which professionals were needed both for the contract and the company registration. Then, it selected and managed, on behalf of Geico, a team of four different firms each providing support in different areas.

In particular, it recruited Ernst and Young Shanghai for tax and accounting issues; Banco Popolare Shanghai for the banking and financing issues; Turner and Townsend Shanghai for the engineering and construction issues and HFG Shanghai for the intellectual property issues. Red Synergy was in charge of all the legal matters both for the contract and the company registration, and of  the project management. In the end the team was composed of about 20 people.

Red Synergy divided the group in 2 teams: the contract team and the start up team. The contract team drafted and negotiated for nearly 3 months several agreements and annexes.

The start-up team evaluated several development zones and selected the most suitable one to establish the business, negotiated local incentives and agreements, and carried on the registration and decoration of the company and its premises.


  • Geico successfully signed the sales contract.
  • Geico China obtained its business license in only four months from the commencement of the location search.
  • Geico China obtained the high amount invoices status within few months from its business license.
  • Geico China was awarded local funding from Suzhou Industrial Park thanks to its green impact and its advanced technologies in building the paint shops of the future.
  • Geico was awarded new sales contracts with JMC/Ford and FAW for several millions USD.

Red Synergy as a Partner

With the combined, diverse assistance of more than five firms this project was particularly complex. Red Synergy’s passion in overcoming all the obstacles was one of the most defining elements to make things happen. This turned Red Synergy into Geico’s partner rather than just being a consulting company. Furthermore, Red Synergy’s expertise as negotiator and project manager was fundamental to meet all the goals on time and effectively. Ultimately, this project represents one of the most well organized team efforts for a foreign company investing in China.

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