China EV brand Zeekr to launch its first luxury sports car

SHANGHAI, Aug (Reuters) – China’s Zeekr, Geely Automobile’s (0175.HK)¬†electric vehicle brand, said on Thursday it will launch its first luxury sports car, which will be priced above 1 million yuan ($140,000).

A person with direct knowledge of the matter added that the company plans to launch the Zeekr 001 FR sports car within weeks and aims to deliver the first batch of cars this year.

While Chinese EV makers have ramped up efforts in developing more cost-efficient products facing a brutal price war started by Tesla at the beginning of the year, some of them are also moving upscale to the top segment of high-performance EVs to seek higher margins.

BYD launched an electric off-road SUV with a starting price of 1.098 million yuan as the first model under its luxury brand Yangwang in January.

Founded in 2021 as a premium EV brand, Zeekr has three models for sales with starting prices ranging from 189,800 yuan to 499,000 yuan.

($1 = 7.2116 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by Zhang Yan, Brenda Goh; Editing by Edmund Klamann and Miral Fahmy