Geely plans new EV unit after its profit plunged in 2020

China’s Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd said has revealed it would form a joint electric vehicle venture with its parent Zhejiang Geely and launch a new brand called Zeekr, after its profit fell 32% last year.

In a stock exchange filing, Geely Automobile said the venture will work on research and development, purchase and sale of smart electric vehicles under Zeekr brand.

Geely Automobile and parent Zhejiang Geely Holding Group will jointly invest 2 billion yuan in the new venture. Geely Automobile will own 51% of the new company, it said.

Earlier reports by PageOne has it that Geely plans for the new company and brand.

Hangzhou-based Geely Automobile, highest-profile Chinese automaker in the world due to parent group’s investments in Volvo Cars and Daimler AG, posted 2020 profit of 5.53 billion yuan ($850 million), versus 8.19 billion yuan in 2019, as auto sales in the world’s biggest market was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

One analyst expected Geely to post a profit of 4.02 billion yuan, according to Refinitiv data.

Revenue fell 5% from the previous year to 92.11 billion yuan.

Geely Automobile sold 1.32 million cars last year, down from 1.36 million units in 2019. It expects to sell 1.53 million cars this year.

Geely Automobile’s parent group announced a flurry of tie-ups by Geely earlier this year as the automaker pursues its goal of becoming a leading EV contract manufacturer and engineering service provider.

Geely Automobile and Volvo Cars last month abandoned their merger plans but launched a new entity to combine their powertrain operations and expand cooperation on electric vehicles.

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