Currently reading: Zeekr confirms Europe launch for 2024 led by ex-Lexus boss
Zeekr’s European ambitions will first launch in Sweden and the Netherlands under former Lexus exec Spiros Fotinos

Chinese luxury EV maker Zeekr has confirmed it will enter Europe later this year, spearheaded by a new saloon which will be followed by a new model every six months on the continent. 

The carmaker, which was founded in 2021, also confirmed its new European CEO - former Toyota executive Spiros Fotinos, who spent almost 25 years at the Japanese firm, and most recently held a key position at Lexus

Zeekr’s European ambitions will first launch in Sweden and the Netherlands in quarter four of 2023, with other countries to “quickly follow”. 

Its first models to arrive in Europe will be the Zeekr 001 shooting brake and the Zeekr X SUV. Its European HQ will be based in Amsterdam, which will work alongside its design, research and development departments in Sweden. 

Speaking to journalists and analysts earlier this year, global CEO An Conghui said Zeekr would target 650,000 sales a year by 2025. 

“Expanding in Europe by the end of 2023 and to the US in 2024 will help the brand grow,” Conghui said. “Zeekr is a well-established product in China but will expand rapidly in international markets, which is our original goal.” 

Last year, 71,941 examples of the Zeekr 001 shooting brake were sold in China. “By 2025, we will have eight models to achieve 650,000 units. We believe this is achievable,” An said.

Zeekr currently sells the 001 and Zeekr 009 MPV in the Chinese market, and deliveries of the new Zeekr X compact SUV will start in the third quarter.

The new saloon, codenamed CS1E (for 'compact sedan first-generation electric'), is tipped to be longer than the X and expected to become a rival to the Tesla Model 3.

An didn’t expand on which models would come to Europe, but the 001, X and CS1E look most likely. No UK plans have been revealed.

Zeekr cars so far have used Geely's Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA), which underpins several other EVs, including the Smart #1 that's already on sale in the UK.

The 001 was originally planned to be a new model for Lynk&Co, but Geely decided it was upmarket enough to create a new brand for its launch in 2021. 

Zeekr has an engineering and design team numbering around 1000 working in Stockholm, Sweden.

It took over Geely’s China Euro Vehicle Technology (CEVT) operation there, which among other tasks developed the CMA platform used by the Volvo XC40 and other Geely models.

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tuga 22 March 2023
Here's an idea, instead of launching new " premium " brands in Europe, how about you give your already established, actually premium brand some new products to sell?

You know who could use a midsized EV? Volvo. A good, old fashioned sedan/estate combo, to replace the S/V60.

And don't say that that's what Polestar is for, when you don't seem to have a problem launching all-new brands that compete with Polestar.

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Dozza 21 March 2023

It took Volvo nearly 90 years to be considered a premium brand. As someone has already pointed out regarding Zeekr (naff name!) ya can't just call yourself premium. Even Audi and BMW had to earn that right.