Published on April 2nd, 2021 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Geely ZEEKR To Challenge Tesla In Premium EV Segment
But Why Does Geely Need ZEEKR When It Has Polestar?
Geely Auto a few weeks ago surprised the motoring community with the launch of a brand premium electric vehicle (EV) brand, named ZEEKR.
ZEEKR was to be integrated into Geely’s newly created Lingling Technology offshoot and it will operate separately from the Geely Geometry EV brand which is a volume driven brand that was launched by Geely in 2019.
Rumors surrounding Geely’s use of the ZEEKR name for its new electric vehicle brand have circulated since the Hangzhou-based company filed for trademarks on a series of ZEEKR-themed names earlier this month.
So, what does this name ZEEKR mean? Well, the first two letters are formed from the words Zero Emission (‘zero emission’), in the third letter the message Electric-Evolution-Era is encrypted, and the ending ‘KR’ is the designation of krypton, a noble gas without color, taste and smell, the name of which is from the Greek language translates as ‘hidden’ or ‘secret’.
A separate division of Zeekr Smart Technology Co. has already been created and the first production model with the ingenious name Zeekr 001 is now presented here below in the flesh.
The Geely Auto Group, which also owns Volvo Cars, Lotus, Lynk & Co., Proton, Terrafugia and London Electric Vehicle Co. (LEVC) as well as a 50 percent stake in Mercedes-Benz’s Smart city car brand, plans to base ZEEKR models on its open-source sustainable experience architecture (SEA).
Then let’s not forget Polestar, which is already a premium electric vehicle brand with luxury appointments and pricing.
While details of Geely’s ZEEKR brand are yet to be made public, speculation is it could be operated in partnership with Chinese internet services company Baidu. A strategic partnership between Geely, China’s largest private automaker, and Baidu, China’s leader in internet search operations, was announced in January this year.
Baidu’s automotive operations currently center on software development in an approach similar to Google parent company Alphabet’s Waymo division. Baidu’s Apollo open-source operating system has attracted partners including Toyota, Honda, Volkswagen and Ford as well as semiconductor producers Intel and Nvidia.
Geely plans to sell ZEEKR models through dedicated sales facilities located in city centers in a marketing strategy that departs from its traditional dealership model. It also plans to support vehicle sales with a line of lifestyle-oriented clothing and accessory lines in a move aimed at reaching new customer groups.
In January this year, Geely Auto had announced it had agreed to form a joint venture with Chinese contract manufacturing company Foxconn which is the maker of Apple’s iPhone, in a partnership planned to focus on electrification, connectivity and autonomous driving technology as well as EVs designed for ride-sharing operations.