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Geely Navigates China’s Competitive Electric Vehicle Market with New Brand

Ding Yi / Mar 24, 2021 05:15 PM / Business & Tech

Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. and its parent will establish a joint venture to build electric vehicles under the new Zeekr brand, in a renewed effort to grab a larger slice of the world’s largest new energy vehicle market where Tesla and domestic startups like Nio, Xpeng and Li Auto are gaining popularity.

According to a filing submitted to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Tuesday, Geely and its parent, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, will jointly invest 2 billion yuan ($307 million) in the venture, with 51% from the Hong Kong-listed Geely and the remainder from its parent.

Zeekr vehicles will be based on Geely’s Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA), an open-source modular electric vehicle-focused platform that can incorporate smart vehicle technologies such as autonomous driving and connectivity. It also features a battery system with a lifespan of 2 million kilometers made by Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL). The Chinese carmaker expects the SEA platform to play a key role in its transformation from a vehicle manufacturer to a technology services provider in mobility.

During an online news conference Tuesday, Geely’s CEO Li Donghui said the joint venture will have its own supply chain, products, customers and capital structure. He declined to provide further details on how Zeekr will differ from other electric vehicle brands under the Geely umbrella, including Lynk &Co., Geometry and Polestar, according to Nikkei Asia.

Creation of the Zeekr brand is the latest in a series of recent high-profile moves by Geely to cement its position as a heavyweight in electric car manufacturing. In January, it made headlines with plans to set up joint ventures with search giant Baidu and iPhone assembler Foxconn, which are aimed at building intelligent electric vehicles and providing contract manufacturing for global automakers, respectively.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: Geely’s Shanghai Listing Plan Hits the Brakes on Pending Regulatory Approval

 


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