Sheng Yue Gui

Mike Clarke—AFP/Getty Images
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    Geely Automobile Holdings

What do Nissan, Honda, and Toyota have in common? In the first six months of 2018, Geely Automotive leapfrogged them all to become the third-best-selling car brand in China, the world’s biggest auto market. What’s more, it increased sales 43% year over year, even as overall Chinese car sales declined. Geely has built a global footprint thanks to founder and chairman Li Shufu, who engineered its 2010 acquisition of Sweden’s Volvo. But its market-share wins in China testify to the skills of Gui, its CEO since 2006, who has also managed to deftly guide Geely into the electric-car and autonomous-vehicle arenas. Next up: bringing its Lynk & Co brand to Europe. As Gui said this summer, “We have a real product to go global now.”