Zeekr is ready to land in Europe and make things difficult for the car giants of the Old Continent. Founded by the Chinese conglomerate Geely, the brand is not only entering the market with technological innovations, but also amid growing trade tensions between the European Union and China.
The European electricity market is experiencing growth in 43% last year, with more than 2.4 million units sold by 2022. Although Volkswgaen and BMW have a dominant presence, the arrival of Zeekr represents a potential threat.
In the year since its launch in China, Zeekr has sold more than 150,000 units, a number they hope to double in Europe in their first year. However, this launch was not without challenges. Trade tensions between the EU and China, arising from mutual accusations of unfair trade practices and human rights, threaten to put obstacles in Zeekr’s development. The proposed tariffs and import restrictions could affect not only the brand but also European consumers looking for cheaper alternatives.
Zeekr’s entry into the European electric vehicle market is not a leap into the void. The integration with Zhejiang Geely Holding Group gives it a big advantage. According to the CEO of Zeekr Europe, Spiros Fotinos the strength and recognition of Geely, which has made its mark with established brands such as Volvo, Polestar and Lynk & CO, gives Zeekr a seal of confidence.
Founded in 2021 as an independent brand, Zeekr surprised in June with the launch of its models: the 001 sedan, priced at 59,490 euros and the compact SUV X, which costs and 44,990 euros. These vehicles are designed to compete with established models such as Volkswagen’s ID.7 and BMW’s iX1. And to guarantee its acceptance on the Old Continent, Zeekr has placed a team of more than 500 professionals in Gothenburg, Sweden, to oversee its design. A smart move, considering that Chinese companies such as BYD, Nio and Great Wall are betting big on Europe.
A unique feature of the Zeekr 001 and X models is that they share technology with well-known vehicles, such as The Volvo EX30 compact SUV. The company has set an ambitious goal for this year: sales 140,000 electric cars, amid intense price competition among Chinese electric vehicle manufacturers. And they set their eyes on a bright future, expecting sales to rise to 650,000 units by 2025. As for Europe, the first deliveries to Sweden and the Netherlands are scheduled for November, while Germany started receiving the first units this month.