Zeekr, Chinese automaker Geely’s premium electric vehicle (EV) brand, is accelerating towards a launch in the Middle East, with the UAE and Saudi Arabia in its sights. The company said it was also open to fundraising from investors in the region, ahead of a planned $ 1 billion IPO listing in the US.
Speaking to the UK’s Financial Times, Zeekr Vice President Chen Yu confirmed the company was launching in four Middle Eastern countries by next year, including Qatar and Bahrain, with a competitive pricing strategy on the cards to take on traditional premium car brands such as BMW and Audi.
“The Middle East is a relatively new market for EVs and there isn’t a matured brand offering of premium EVs in most of their markets,” Yu said in the same interview.
Zeekr is expected to deliver 10,000 units in the four markets combined by 2025, Chen told FT, with Zeekr’s cars are also expected to be launched in Israel by the end of the year.
Zeekr’s expansion in the Middle East comes in the midst of the region’s drive towards green technology. The UAE, which has set a target for 50% of all vehicles to be EVs by 2050, has been heavily investing in its infrastructure, while funding green mobility solutions. Earlier this year, the Dubai-based green energy company NWTN announced plans to establish and construct an integrated production line in Abu Dhabi, while Chinese electric car company NIO received $738.5 million in new capital from a fund owned by the Abu Dhabi government in June.
In the same month, Saudi Arabia signed a $5.6 billion deal with the Chinese parent of high-end EV brand Hiphi, while last week, luxury EV maker Lucid Group announced it had opened its first international manufacturing plant in Jeddah, with the kingdom signing on to buy up to 100,000 vehicles from the company over 10 years.
(Writing by Bindu Rai, editing by Seban Scaria)