Geely-owned premium electric vehicle brand Zeekr launched its second model, the Zeekr 009, on November 2. In addition, CEO An Conghui revealed that the company will launch two new cars during mid-to-late 2023, and that one is an SUV and the other is a sedan.
An said that Zeekr will launch two more models in 2024 that are based on Geely’s Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) platform. In addition, Volvo, Lotus, Smart and other brands under Geely will gradually unveil their own automotive products with the platform.
Zeekr fully considered the European and the US markets at the beginning of product research and development. The Zeekr 001 will enter the European market next year, with official plans to be announced in late November. From November 7, Zeekr will push its OS 3.2 system for Chinese users, and automated driving assistance will be pushed during the Spring Festival in January, which is still under road testing.
From January to October, a total of 55,600 Zeekr 001 vehicles were delivered, of which 10,119 vehicles were delivered in October, an increase of 22.3% from the previous month. During an earnings call following the release of Geely’s interim financial report, CEO An said that the target of delivering 70,000 vehicles of Zeekr in 2022 remains unchanged based on its abundant orders and the recovery of supply chains. He predicted that the monthly delivery volume in the fourth quarter would reach or exceed 10,000 units.
However, the MPV market, within which the newly launched Zeekr 009 is situated, has not performed well in recent years. According to data from the China Passenger Car Association, in the first nine months of this year, the cumulative sales of MPVs in the country were 688,000 units, down 15.1% year-on-year. Even though MPV sales rebounded in September to 89,000 units, up 3.8% year-on-year, it was still less than the overall year-on-year growth rate of about 10% in the auto market. Since 2022, high-end new energy MPV makers emerged with a starting price of more than 300,000 yuan ($41,071), which will undoubtedly further intensify competition.
Regarding the question of whether the Zeekr 009 can replicate the great performance of the 001, An shared a short story at its launch event. As early as 12 years ago, Geely planned to launch a high-end MPV against Toyota, with investment of more than 1 billion yuan over three years. However, due to the contradiction among MPV’s engine, cabin space, rotation system and driving experience, the project was forced to be cut down.
With the arrival of the Zeekr 009, An Conghui said that such problems can be fundamentally solved only by completely throwing away the fuel engine and decisively abandoning the transition route where multiple power modes coexist. Therefore, the Zeekr 009 uses pure-electric architecture, and its cruising range under CLTC conditions reaches 822 km.