Zeekr, a premium EV brand from Geely, is banking on extra momentum from sister brands like Volvo to push into Europe, just as growing global trade tensions threaten Chinese carmakers’ ambitions for the region.
The brand, part of billionaire Eric Li’s sprawling auto empire that also includes a stake in Mercedes-Benz Group and collaboration with Renault Group, started European sales of two models just weeks ago and plans to add an additional seven by 2025.
Being part of Li’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group “is giving us an important head start,” Europe head Spiros Fotinos said in an interview. “Geely has established itself through Volvo, Polestar and Lynk & CO — that adds a trust mark.”
Founded as a standalone brand in 2021, Zeekr in late June started sales of the €59,490 001 sedan and €44,990 X compact SUV models, which compete with Volkswagen brand’s ID.7 and BMW iX1, among others. To warm European customers to an unknown Chinese automaker, a team of more than 500 helps design its models in Gothenburg, Sweden. The efforts could help set Zeekr apart as BYD, Nio and Great Wall lead a range of Chinese companies taking aim at Europe.