Geely launches a premium EV

Several media including BBC reported that China’s biggest carmaker Geely is launching a premium electric car brand.

Geely, which owns Volvo and Lotus, announced its Zeekr brand on March 23rd to respond to China’s demand for EVs. Geely said it would develop and manufacture high-end EVs under the Zeekr brand. Thus, the company is planning to deliver them in the third quarter of 2021.

Geely has its own premium electric vehicle brands. For example, Volvo Car’s Polestar develops electric performance cars. Its head office is in Sweden and produce electric vehicles in China. Another example is Lotus, which is majority-owned by Geely and is working on an electric-powered supercar called Evija.

Geely competes in the Chinese premium EV market

Zeekr, its own home-grown EV brand, will face fierce competition from Tesla. This is because its Model 3 was the top-selling electric vehicle model in China in 2020. Zeekr will also compete with other Chinese groups such as Nio, Xpeng and Li Auto.

China wants more than a fifth of vehicles sold in China to be electric by 2025. This ambitious goal incentivizes Chinese to purchase electric vehicles more. Thus, Geely wants to be China’s first global automaker like Volkswagen does. To realize its ambitions, the company has Volvo and Lotus brands, and owns a minority stake in Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler.

Based on its strategy, Zeekr will focus on the Chinese market first. However, it will also explore overseas opportunities since global demand for premium electric vehicles soars up. Geely reported its annual result that sold 1.32 million cars in 2020, compared with 1.46 million in the previous year.

Who is Geely?

Geely Auto Group is a leading Chinese automobile manufacturer. Its head office is in Hangzhou, and it was founded in 1997 as a subsidiary of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. Geely Auto Group sells vehicles under the Geely Auto brand. In addition, the Chinese company holds a 50% stake in the LYNK & CO brand.

Geely Auto group employs more than 50,000 people across the globe. Furthermore, the Group operates 12 plants, five global R&D centers in Hangzhou, Ningbo, Gothenburg, Coventry and Frankfurt. The Chinese automotive giant also boasts five global design studios in Shanghai, Gothenburg, Barcelona, California and Coventry, respectively. Over 900 members of staff are working there.

In 2019, the brands under Geely Auto Group management sold over 1.46 million units. What’s more, Geely Auto ranked as the best-selling Chinese brand for three consecutive years. Another important achievement was that Lynk & Co set a new annual sales record.

Geely tries to win the game

In our media, we can see other news about the Chinese automotive giant, Geely. First, Geely becomes a partner with Biadu to manufacturer smart electric vehicles. Baidu is a Chinese technology giant and has totally different capability in Geely’s. Therefore, we can expect that their expertise will complement each other, and they can add values to customers.

Second, Geely and Foxconn will create a joint venture to sell manufacturing and services to the global auto industry. Foxconn tries to be Android in the EV market and is very famous as the company that assembles Apple’s iPhones. Electrification possibly leads other smartphone makers to enter the EV market. Apple, Huawei, Xiaomi and Sony are examples. In fact, Sony showed its concept EV model, called “VISION S”, in CES 2020.

Finally, Geely’s subsidiary Volvo Car decided to go full electric by 2030. Therefore, as we see these Geely’s actions, we can understand how serious the company wants to win the competition.

Many experts say that the EV market will be the next smartphone market. Therefore, it can be the new source of revenue in terms of hardware as well as software. Geely competes with Tesla or other Chinese EV manufacturers so that we can expect their counter actions in the near future.