Chinese electric vehicle brand Zeekr is taking another step closer to Australia with the production of right-hand drive vehicles currently underway, and its export plans expanding to Thailand.

zeekr mpv 009
zeekr mpv 009

Zeekr 009 and X will enter the Australian market

As a member of the Geely Group, which also includes Volvo, Polestar, Lotus, and Lynk & Co (the latter also entering the Australian market), Zeekr made some exciting announcements at the Bangkok Motor Show this week. They unveiled their latest plans, which involve the introduction of the Zeekr X compact SUV and Zeekr 009 people-mover in 2024.

These models are now available for pre-order, and customers in Thailand can expect delivery in the third quarter of the year.

During the event in Bangkok, Geely emphasized its commitment to meeting the growing demand for high-quality intelligent electric vehicles in the Southeast Asian market. As part of this effort, the company is currently producing right-hand drive models specifically tailored for customers in the region. This strategic move reflects Geely’s focus on providing intelligent electric vehicles that cater to the needs and preferences of Southeast Asian customers.

Zeekr X
Zeekr X

The launch of the Zeekr brand in Australia holds great promise, particularly with the introduction of the stylish Zeekr X. This model, which made a strong impression in China with its distinctive design, performance, and overall road behavior, is based on the same platform as the highly acclaimed Volvo XC40.

Additionally, the Zeekr 009 MPV presents a unique offering in Australia, boasting long-range capability and a high level of practicality. Geely Group, the parent company of Zeekr, has been actively preparing for the localization of the brand in Australia, including submitting various trademark and patent applications.

A brief introduction to Zeekr

Zeekr, a subsidiary of Geely, has confirmed plans to start selling new energy vehicles, positioning Zeekr as a high-end brand in Australia by the third quarter of 2024. While the exact sales model is yet to be disclosed, their focus on the 009 MPV as the first model to arrive in Australia may initially cater to niche market demand. Notably, the specifications of the 009 MPV in China are impressive, including a choice of 116 or 140 kWh batteries, a range of 700 km or 822 km (CLTC), and a dual-motor all-wheel-drive system with powerful performance.

At present, the MPV market in Australia is relatively limited, with only a few models available. Zeekr aims to capture demand from Chinese customers and the commercial van segment, offering differentiation and establishing a reputation before focusing on their coupe and SUV models, which are positioned as their main high-end offerings.

Considering the broader perspective of Chinese domestic brands entering Australia, starting from the lower end with brands like MG and Great Wall, the arrival of high-end brands like Zeekr, followed by BYD, showcases a significant expansion of Chinese brands in the Australian market. This expansion allows Chinese domestic brands to cover the low, middle, and high segments, engaging in fierce competition with established Japanese, German, and Korean car manufacturers.

Overall, the future development of Zeekr in Australia appears promising, with its stylish designs, advanced technology, and the backing of Geely Group. By offering a range of models targeting different segments and emphasizing differentiation, Zeekr has the potential to establish itself as a competitive player in the Australian automotive market.

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