Chinese automakers are becoming ever more ambitious with their global aspirations, perhaps none more so than Geely.
Reuters reports Geely’s nascent Zeekr electric vehicle division has confidentially filed for an initial public offering (IPO) in the US last week.
No details on the size of the IPO have been revealed, nor has the listing date, but an earlier Reuters report suggested Zeekr was aiming to raise more than US$1 billion (A$1.46bn) in its IPO and seek a valuation of more than US$10 billion (A$14.64bn).
It would be the first major Chinese listing in the US in nearly two years following ride-hailing company Didi’s, which became the subject of an investigation by US regulators.
Zeekr is yet another EV brand that has announced plans to enter the European market. It’s set to launch there in 2023, following the likes of Aiways, BYD, Great Wall Motor, Hongqi, Nio and Xpeng.
The brand’s CEO, An Conghui, told Automotive News Europe it would market the 001 – the brand’s first model – in Europe and that Zeekr had always been intended for launch not only there, but also in the US.
Zeekr has thus far revealed only two models: the 001, first previewed as the Lynk & Co Zero Concept in 2020 and going on sale in China in 2021; and the 009 people mover. Both are electric vehicles, underpinned by Geely’s Sustainable Experience Architecture.
The brand is yet another under Geely’s large umbrella, which also includes Lotus, Proton and Volvo.
It’s not the only EV-only brand under Geely control. The best-known is Polestar, though Geely recently announced Radar Auto as a new brand that will initially sell only the electric RD6 ute.
There’s also Geometry, which sells electric sedans and SUVs, and LEVC, which produces electric vans and taxis.
Zeekr is positioned as a more premium brand than Geometry, and the name is apparently derived from “Generation Z” and “geek”.
The Zeekr 001 is a five-door liftback roughly the size of a Tesla Model S, available in either 200kW single-motor rear-wheel drive or 400kW/768Nm dual-motor all-wheel drive variants. The latter boasts a 0-100km/h time of 3.8 seconds.
With a 100kWh battery pack, the 001 has an electric range of up to 732km, albeit on the more lenient CLTC cycle. There’s also a smaller 84kWh battery pack.
The 009 people mover also packs a dual-motor 400kW all-wheel drive powertrain, albeit with a choice of 116kWh and 140kWh batteries with CLTC range figures of 702km and 822km, respectively.
The boxy 009 boasts a 0-100km/h time of just 4.5 seconds, and a relatively slippery drag coefficient of 0.27.
Like the 001, the 009 also features air suspension.