Another Chinese car brand is headed for Australia, and it’s targeting buyers with plenty of cash to splash.
Zeekr, an electric brand that sits alongside Volvo, Polestar, and Lotus under the umbrella of Chinese giant Geely, will launch in Australia during 2024.
The brand confirmed to CarExpert it’s aiming to start selling cars locally in the third quarter of 2024.
Where Chinese rivals such as MG and GWM have launched in high-volume and low-cost segments, Zeekr will instead position itself as a premium brand.
The only Zeekr vehicle confirmed for a local launch at this stage is the 009 electric people mover.
The Zeekr 009 was first revealed in late 2022 and is billed as the world’s first pure luxury electric MPV. Volvo has since revealed its own version based on the same Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) platform called the EM90.
In China the 009 is offered with either 116kWh or 140kWh batteries supplied by CATL, with claimed range figures of 702km and 822km – albeit both on the generous CLTC test cycle.
Power comes from a dual-motor all-wheel drive setup producing 400kW of power and 686Nm of torque.
That gives it a claimed 0-100km/h sprint time of just 4.5 seconds – heady performance for a boxy people mover. It also has a relatively slippery drag coefficient of 0.27.
The 009 measures in at 5209mm long, 2024mm wide, and 1848-1856mm tall with a 3205mm wheelbase. This makes it virtually the same size as the LDV MIFA 9 launched locally last year.
All Chinese-specification models ride on a “high-performance” air suspension set-up, with double wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension. Inside there are six seats in a 2+2+2 configuration.
Standard equipment on Chinese 009s includes matrix LED headlights, power sliding doors, dual sunroofs, a 20-speaker Yamaha sound system, as well as Nappa leather and Ultrasuede upholstery.
Screens include a 10.25-inch unit ahead of the driver, a 15.4-inch touch display, and a 15.6-inch adjustable central ceiling screen. There are also 3.4-inch touchscreens on the sliding doors.
At this stage it’s unclear how Zeekr plans to distribute its vehicles in Australia.
This development in Zeekr’s local launch follows the company posting a range of jobs on LinkedIn based in Sydney. These include roles for a product manager, head of marketing, head of aftersales, and head of sales.
Zeekr will be joining Volvo, Polestar, and Lotus as yet another Geely-owned brand with a local presence.
Geely also in 2021 said Lynk & Co, which is yet another one of its brands, is meant to be launching in Australia in 2025. It’s unclear if this is still the case.
Zeekr was founded in 2021 as an all-electric brand to rivals the likes of Tesla and Nio. All of its electric vehicles (EVs) are built on the SEA platform.