Chinese auto giant Geely Auto announced on March 23 the establishment of Zeekr, a company jointly invested by Geely Auto and Geely Holding Group, which will focus on forward-looking technology research and development in the intelligent pure electric field to build a smart car ecosystem.
Geely plans to inject RMB 2 billion ($307 million) into the new company, with Geely Auto holding 51% and Geely Holding Group holding 49%.
Li Shufu, Chairman of Geely Holding Group, is the Chairman of Zeekr, and An Conghui, CEO and President of Geely Auto, is the CEO of Zeekr.
Zeekr's first model will be based on Geely's Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) and will be available for pre-order at the Shanghai Auto Show in April, with deliveries starting in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Geely said it will leverage its long-accumulated expertise and systemic advantages to help build intelligent software and hardware full-stack self-research capabilities for Zeekr.
The brand will integrate various assets and technologies, including EV model technology, SEA usage rights, brand licensing, supply chain system construction, and user ecology construction.
Last week, a Reuters report said the new brand will come under Geely's upcoming electric vehicle company Lingling Technologies.
This will be Geely's new attempt to target the premium market. It shows the long-standing ambition of its chairman Li Shufu to produce high-end cars "like Mercedes-Benz" to challenge Tesla, the current leader in the electric car industry, the report said.
Earlier today, Geely announced its 2020 results, showing 2020 revenue of RMB 92.1 billion and net profit of RMB 5.57 billion.
In the second half of 2020, Geely's sales rose 49% from the first half, revenue rose 50% and net profit rose 40%.
In 2020, Geely's cumulative sales exceeded 1.32 million units, and its subsidiary Lynk & Co's cumulative sales for the year were 175,000 units, up approximately 37% year-over-year.
To date, Geely's cumulative global sales exceed 10 million units, making it the first Chinese brand car company to achieve a production and sales volume of passenger cars exceeding 10 million units.
Geely's sales target for 2021 is 1.53 million units, up 16 percent year-on-year.
(LYNK & CO Zero concept car)