Zeekr announces plans for launch in Sweden and the Netherlands
Geely wants to bring its premium electric brand Zeekr to Europe later this year after it has been exclusive to China. Two Zeekr models will initially be offered in Sweden and the Netherlands.
Zeekr announced that the European models will be the Zeekr 001 and the new Zeekr X model. As reported, the latter is a compact car with SUV leanings, while the almost five-metre-long Shooting Brake 001 is the brand’s debut model, which has already been offered in China since October 2021. Zeekr’s second model, the large premium van 009, will not come to Europe.
Both the 001 and the X are based on the Geely SEA electric platform. In Europe, the SEA model Smart #1 is already on the market, the models Smart #3 and Polestar 4, which were also presented at the Shanghai auto show, will soon follow – likewise, Volvo’s new entry-level model called EX20 is to use SEA.
Back to Zeekr: The push into this key region is an important milestone in the company’s ambitious global growth strategy, Zeekr says. After launching in Sweden and the Netherlands at the end of 2023, other European countries and models are expected to follow “quickly”. The company is not yet giving any details about the other markets, nor is there any concrete announcement about the models. Instead, it says that the vehicles will be “specially designed for European users”.
The headquarters of Zeekr Europe will be in Amsterdam, but Sweden also plays a more important role than being “just” one of the two debut markets: The Scandinavian country is home to both the design and development teams, which, according to the announcement, “will ensure that the vehicles will meet and even exceed the expectations of European customers”. The Gothenburg location makes sense, after all, the headquarters of Geely subsidiary Volvo and Polestar are located there. The 1,500 engineers are said to have already “produced many successful models for the Geely Group in the past” – and are thus said to “play a decisive role in the successful market launch of Zeekr in Europe” with their experience.
As already leaked in advance, Zeekr Europe will be headed by Spiros Fotinos – the former Lexus manager has plenty of experience in establishing an Asian brand in Europe. Officially, the appointment has only just been confirmed. The Reuters news agency had reported last week that Fotinos had already been working for Zeekr since September 2022 and had so far been preparing the European launch in the background.
“European consumers are increasingly ready to make the shift to EVs and are more open than ever to new technology brands – especially ones purely focused on electric vehicles,” Fotinos says. “With the resources, knowledge and experience we’ve got behind us, ZEEKR is well positioned to offer world-class EVs, innovative services and an exceptional experience that will make the transition to electric easier than ever, allowing us to contribute to a more sustainable future.”
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