Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. (Geely) will soon have its own premium electric brand. The new high-end EV brand will be called Zeekr. The new company will use different branding and sales strategies as it takes aim for Tesla.
Geely is a large automotive company based in China that owns Geely Auto, Volvo, Lynk & Co, Polestar, Lotus, and 9.7 percent of Daimler. Zeekr will be part of the company’s upcoming EV arm called Lingling Technologies.
Zeekr models will ride on a new dedicated EV platform called Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) that we reported on last December.
Much like how Tesla does it, Geely will open showrooms and sell Zeekr EVs at a fixed price, not in dealerships as the company traditionally does. This follows Geely’s January announcement of partnering with Foxconn to build EVs for other companies. It also follows Baidu's (China's largest search engine) announcement that it's looking to partner with Geely to developed its own electric car. Alan Kang, an analyst at LMC Automotive said:
"Traditional gasoline cars and electric vehicles are two race tracks of business. Geely does not have a clear advantage in electric vehicles at the moment so it appears that it wants to complete its own innovation by creating a new brand.”
In addition to showrooms for Zeekr models, Geely will try other new marketing and sales tactics in order to attract more EV buyers. The company plans to start a car owner's club, and lifestyle brands for clothing and accessories, something that Nio is doing. Nio is one of the very few upscale EV brands in China. Allowing customers to become shareholders of Lingling Technologies is something Geely is considering doing in the hope to create more sales.
China’s government has been heavily promoting what it likes to call new energy vehicles (NEV) like EVs, and hopes they will make up 20 percent of its annual auto sales by 2025. NEVs made up 5 percent of China’s auto sales in 2020.