- Zeekr, a premium EV subsidiary of Chinese automotive conglomerate Geely, filed for an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange last week, as reported by Reuters.
- The company is seeking a valuation of more than $10 billion, hoping to raise over $1 billion to fund its expansion into Europe.
- Zeekr currently sells the 001, a 536-hp electric wagon, and recently revealed the 009 minivan with the same potent powertrain.
A new automaker is preparing to debut on the New York Stock Exchange, with Reuters reporting that Zeekr confidentially filed for an initial public offering last week with the goal of raising more than $1 billion. The publication’s sources—which remain unnamed—say that Zeekr is seeking a valuation of over $10 billion. That isn’t even in the same ballpark as the $100 billion initial valuation achieved when Rivian went public in 2021, but it’s still an ambitious figure for a relatively unknown brand. And at this point, you’re probably wondering, “What is a Zeekr anyway?”
Zeekr is a premium EV brand created by Chinese automotive giant Geely, which owns a majority stake in Volvo, Polestar, and Lotus. Geely also controls LEVC, which builds the current iteration of London’s black cabs and Lynk & Co, a Chinese-market brand that previously considered entering the U.S. market. The Zeekr name is apparently derived for the word “geek” and Generation Z, indicating the brand’s focus on technology and aim of capturing a younger customer base.
Established in 2021, Zeekr’s first car, the 001, took an unusual wagon-like shape but shared its general design language with the Lynk & Co lineup. The top-of-the-line 001 comes with a dual-motor powertrain with 536 horsepower, allowing the electric wagon to zip to 62 mph in a claimed 3.8 seconds. Two battery sizes are available, but all 001s can travel over 300 miles on a charge on China’s NEDC test cycle, with the rear-wheel-drive version with the larger 100.0-kWh battery capable of 443 miles of range. The rear-drive single-motor version produces 268 hp and takes a more leisurely 6.9 seconds to reach 62 mph. The 001 starts at the equivalent of $42,852 at current exchange rates.
Zeekr recently revealed its second model, the blocky 009 minivan, which embarks on a completely new design direction with swanky LED lightning elements and a bold, chunky chrome grille. The 009 uses the same 536-hp powertrain paired with either a 116.0-kWh or 140.0-kWh battery, helping the giant cube reach 62 mph in a claimed 4.5 seconds. The larger battery also provides up to 511 miles of range, and the 009’s cabin is filled with tech and luxury amenities including leather massaging captain’s chairs in the spacious second row.
The company’s proposed IPO, which will allegedly occur in New York in the second quarter of 2023, coincides with plans to launch the 001 in Europe next year, as more Chinese automakers expand beyond their homeland’s borders. While Zeekr has stated its intentions to come to North America, the company has yet to lay out the groundwork needed to sell cars stateside. While the company also considered the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, Zeekr also believes it can reach a higher valuation in New York, according to Reuters.
Through the first nine months of 2022, Zeekr sold just over 60,000 cars in China—far from the approximately 285,000 Tesla Model Ys sold in the country in the same period, but still a solid start for a young brand. If sales keep up and the European launch is a success, the IPO on the New York Stock Exchange could mark the first step towards Zeekr breaking through into the American market.
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