Geely already has several car brands on the market in China and owns Volvo, Lotus, Polestar and Lynk & Co. The last two brands are produced in China and sold in the Netherlands, among others. Now Geely is launching a new brand of electric cars: Zeekr. This is intended for the top segment of the market and should therefore rival Tesla, among others. The cars are fully developed and manufactured in China, but will eventually also come to Europe. The first deliveries are scheduled for the third quarter of 2021.
It makes sense that Geely wants to compete with Tesla in particular. The American brand’s Model 3 was last year’s best-selling electric car in China, generating a fifth of its total sales in the country (worth 26.6 billion euros). The Chinese government is concerned about this. This month it was announced that the Chinese authorities do not trust the Teslas because of the cameras on board. They could collect all kinds of sensitive data.
For fear of espionage, Chinese soldiers and officials are therefore prohibited from buying a Tesla. Tesla founder Elon Musk last weekend tried to convince Chinese politicians and businessmen that his Tesla is completely safe, and praised China’s plans to tackle CO2 emissions. But it is not clear to what extent this charm offensive will change the Chinese government’s mind.