Let’s talk about ZEEKR…
So you may have heard – Geely Auto Group has a new brand, ‘Zeekr’. But its sudden appearance has caused some confusion: why has the brand been created? What does the brand aim to achieve? And what does Zeekr mean?
Let us explain.
The first letter of Zeekr, ‘Z’ represents Generation Z. Generation Z is the new consumer force, born between the mid-90s and the early 2010s, who have grown up in an increasingly digital world. They have new ideas when choosing which products to buy and expect a uniform digital experience that covers their home, office, as well as their car. They also see electrification as the norm and not as an alternative.
The rest of the name is derived from ‘geek’, a term for those that are fixated with and have extensive knowledge of technology, further fitting the technological focus of the brand.
What are the aims of Zeekr?
For over a century the automotive industry has had a fairly routine business plan: create hardware (vehicles), move that hardware to a dealership and, finally, sell the hardware to consumers. Whatever happens afterwards was neither here nor there.
Zeekr aims to rectify this outdated, broken model. It will put software at the forefront to continually add services that will keep all Zeekr models up to date and competitive. Zeekr cars will also be sold online and through experience centres across China, with plans also to eventually expand to Europe and North America. These platforms will give future customers the freedom to design and create cars according to their requirements.
Zeekr will be defined by the connected services and software that if offers, differentiating it from rivals in the segment who offer a choice of either performance or connectivity; Zeekr will offer both in a highly competitive, yet luxury package.
This is reflected in the brand’s first offering. The 001 (zero zero one) has sports dual motors that send power to all four wheels through a fifty-fifty split, delivering an impressive 768Nm of torque to send the car from 0 to 100 in under 4 seconds. The car is also equally practical, with a range of over 700km on a single charge and a spacious cabin and boots spaces.
But this is just the start – the Zeekr brand has committed to delivering 5 cars in 5 years based on Geely Holding’s pure electric SEA architecture.
Why create a new brand?
Zeekr will offer only pure electric vehicles, meaning a unique skill set is required to meet the demands of consumers. While, as a group Geely encourages the use of hybrid powertrains as a way of easing the transition towards full electrification, Zeekr will start as it tends to continue – as a pure EV brand looking towards the future of mobility.
Besides its emphasis on performance and connectivity, Zeekr also sets itself apart with eye-catching design language. Just because a vehicle’s powertrain requires a unique design approach, there is no need to compromise in terms of looks. At Zeekr, designers are tasked with giving vehicles a luxurious feel that makes full use of available space, something clear and evident in the 001.
As much as we push for the adoption of pure electric vehicles, the adoption rates are sometimes disappointing; while consumers tend to see EVs as serving an important green initiative, they ultimately cannot be convinced because of the areas in which the cars are lacking: design, performance and connectivity. Zeekr aims to rectify all that by pushing those features at the forefront of what it offers, along with new and innovative ways in generating continuous engagement from consumers. Accomplishing all this with a new brand made much more sense.