China’s Geely to Challenge Tesla with New Premium EV Brand

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China represents the world’s largest auto market, meaning that moves made within the country will echo throughout the world, especially amidst a burgeoning electric vehicle (EV) market.

On Thursday, Reuters reported that China automaker Geely plans to unveil a new line of EVs as it seeks to compete with rival and EV giant Tesla. The company’s brand will target the premium segment of the auto market, and is set to be named “Zeekr,” according to three people who asked to remain anonymous.

Geely’s Zeekr brand is set to be launched under the company’s EV entity, Lingling Technologies, which has reportedly not yet been announced to the public.

Earlier this month, Geely-owned automaker Volvo announced a move to all EVs and online-only orders. Geely also owns 9.7% of Daimler AG, and plans to roll the Zeekr brand out from the company’s Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) open-source EV chassis.

Geely also plans to open its own showrooms in city centers across China, called “Hubs,” which will sell cars at a fixed price in a major departure from the dealership models employed by a number of legacy automakers, and Tesla alike.

The company also hopes to unveil a shared ownership plan, in which customers can elect to become shareholders of Lingling, effectively boosting sales for Geely and strengthening the relationship between the brand and its customers.

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