Geely’s premium brand Zeekr aims to deliver 10,000 units a month, challenging Tesla, home-grown Chinese rivals
- 10,000 is seen as an important threshold for defining a powerful carmaker in mainland China
- A restored supply chain and the rising popularity of electric cars should help Geely reach the important target
The number is seen as an important threshold for defining a powerful carmaker in mainland China.
Zeekr, a unit set up by Hong Kong-listed Geely last year to drive its push into the high-end electric car segment, will compete head-on with global EV leader Tesla and a clutch of Chinese rivals if its monthly sales break through the important 10,000 barrier.
XPeng, Nio and Li Auto, the three major Chinese smart EV start-ups, are snapping at Tesla’s heels as a combined force, which each normally posting monthly deliveries of more than 10,000 units.
Geely Automobile’s parent, Zhejiang Geely Holding, is also the owner of Sweden’s Volvo Cars and a shareholder of German marquee Mercedes-Benz.
The Zeekr 001, a four-door car with a driving range of 700 kilometres, is priced at 281,000 yuan (US$41,380), marginally higher than the Shanghai-made Tesla Model 3’s starting price of 279,900 yuan.
It offers air suspension that automatically adjusts for ground clearance, and frameless automatic doors that open when a passenger approaches, and close behind them.
Zeekr set a sales target of 70,000 units for this year, but it delivered only 24,000 from January to July because a broken supply chain caused by a citywide Covid-19 lockdown in Shanghai in April and May disrupted production.
It is developing the Zeekr 009, a multipurpose vehicle (MPV), An told the briefing after Geely published its interim earnings.
Geely reported a 35 per cent profit drop for the first half of this year to 1.55 billion yuan. The profit was 44 per cent less than the median forecast of 2.77 billion yuan among analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Revenue increased 29 per cent to 58.2 billion yuan, beating the estimated 53.2 billion yuan.
In the first six months, Geely delivered 613,842 vehicles, just 37 per cent of its full-year target of 1.65 million units.
“Geely will prioritise new EV model development to spur sales and bolster profitability in the coming years,” said Gao Shen, an independent analyst in Shanghai. “Zeekr will play a big role in the company’s electrification drive.”
Geely also builds EVs under the Lynk and Geely brands.