Auto manufacturer Geely plans to launch a new premium EV brand called Zeekr in China. Zeekr will exist as a separate brand and marketing strategy under the Geely umbrella. The automaker reportedly hopes to develop premium vehicles like Mercedes-Benz to compete with the likes of Tesla.
Geely is a multinational automotive manufacturer with multiple subsidiaries under its belt. In addition to developing and manufacturing its own vehicles under the Geely Auto brand, the company also owns Volvo group, which manufactures Volvo and Polestar EVs. Geely also acquired nearly 10% of Daimler in 2018.
Last month, Reuters reported that Geely was establishing a new EV-centric entity dubbed Lingling Technologies this year. Lingling will manage all of Geely’s models based on its Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) platform, an open-source EV chassis base announced last fall. This will also include the marketing and sales of the SEA-based Zero model by Geely’s Lynk & Co brand, as well as all EVs under its Geometry brand.
It appears Geely’s new Zeekr brand will also be added to the Lingling Technologies roster. According to Reuters, people familiar with the matter say the new brand strategy looks to take on Tesla with higher-end vehicles.
Geely looks to dethrone Tesla in China with Zeekr
Easier said than done. Geely has not yet acknowledged the Zeekr brand, nor has it publicly announced Lingling Technologies. That doesn’t mean both entities are not already strategizing to bring premium EVs to market ASAP. For now, it seems that many people familiar with the matter are more chatty than the Geely press room.
Either way, Geely certainly has the resources and infrastructure to at least try to compete with Tesla. More recently, Geely has pivoted its manufacturing strategy to expand its reach and increase revenue.
In addition to manufacturing its own vehicles, Geely has made strides toward becoming a leading EV contract manufacturer and engineering service provider for other companies. This is achieved mainly by outsourcing its proprietary SEA platform to third parties.
The Zeekr brand will be an ambitious attempt by Geely to go up-market in the EV world. In a report from Autocar, Geely Founder and Chairman Li Shufu will personally oversee the establishment of Zeekr. In addition to challenging Tesla on a global basis, Zeekr plans to compete with other Chinese EV brands like Nio, Xpeng, and Li Auto.