Geely Automobile Holdings is in talks with home appliance manufacturer Haier Group to sell the first model – the Zeekr 001 – of its new electric vehicle (EV) brand at the latter’s stores, according to Chinese media.
The companies will also be collaborating in other auto-related areas, Sina Tech reported citing sources from both Geely and Haier.
Geely, one of China’s biggest carmakers and the owner of Volvo Cars, launched its new premium EV brand Zeekr in March, which will manufacture battery-powered cars based on Geely’s open-source Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) platform.
The Zeekr 001 made its debut at the Shanghai Auto Show in April and is expected to go on sale in China this fall. Hangzhou-based Geely sold 100,331 units in April 2021, including sales of Lynk & Co cars.
In a statement, Haier confirmed to Sina Tech that the companies are working on a strategic partnership that will include joint collaboration on connected vehicles, smart homes, sales channels and models, as well as finance and e-payment systems. “
The cooperation between the two parties is currently in progress and we will disclose the latest developments in due course,” Haier added.
Pandaily has reached out to Geely for comment.
The report added that the collaboration model would be similar to the one between Huawei and EV maker Seres that sees the tie-up’s first model, the Huawei Smart Selection SF5, being sold in the smartphone maker’s stores across China – including in its online store.
If confirmed, this would mark Haier’s second push into China’s electric vehicle sector this year following its strategic partnership with SAIC Motor signed in March to jointly develop intelligent transportation systems and smart homes.
The two companies will also cooperate in areas such as autonomous driving and logistics, as well as lightweight-material development and application, The Paper reported. The duo will set up a fund to invest in related research as well.
Last month, Midea Group – one of China’s largest home appliances makers – announced its foray into the new energy vehicle (NEV) market with plans to produce a range of components and control systems for cars.
The white goods maker said it will start developing five main NEV parts at a Hefei factory under its subsidiary Welling, including motor drives, electric water pumps, electric oil pumps, electric compressors and electric power steering motors.