Geely Launches Premium EV Brand Zeekr, Intensifying War With Tesla, Nio: Report

  • Chinese automaker and Volvo Cars owner Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd GELYY unveiled a high-end electric vehicle (EV) brand, Zeekr, to capitalize on the growing demand in China and snatch a pie of Tesla Inc TSLA and NIO Inc NIOReuters reports.
  • According to Bloomberg, the target market has also attracted tech firms Xiaomi Corp XIACY and Huawei Technologies Co.
  • The initiative builds on parent Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and Geely Automobile’s joint investment of $306 million (2 billion yuan) to position Zeekr as a startup under the Geely group, which also holds a 9.7% stake in Germany’s Daimler AG DMLRY.
  • The Zeekr cars will be priced at around 300,000 yuan (roughly $46,000).
  • The company is playing with the idea of car-using rights and subscriptions for customers.
  • Geely aims to launch at least two models annually in the next three years, after launching Zeekr 001 this year with a starting price of 281,000 yuan.
  • The company has set a sales target of up to 8,000 units in the fourth quarter. The target could exceed over 50,000 in 2022 after the addition of two more models.
  • Geely’s plant has an annual manufacturing capacity of 300,000 EVs. The plant could produce six models on its production line and develop higher production abilities soon.
  • Zeekr will employ a direct sales model. The brand planned to launch over 100 stores in 2021.
  • Geely sold 68,142 new-energy vehicles last year, accounting for around 5% of total deliveries.
  • Geely has also partnered with Baidu Inc BIDUTencent Holdings Ltd TCEHY, and Apple Inc AAPL manufacturing partner Foxconn Technology Co Ltd FXCOF for the initiative.
  • The company targets European exports from late-2022 or early 2023, followed by the U.S. It aims to create its eco-system around Zeekr, akin to Nio, by offering branded products like furniture, clothes, and drinks.
  • Price action: GELYY shares traded higher by 2.38% at $52.82 on the last check Thursday.
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