Zeekr announced it would enter six new markets in Europe by the end of this year, as it steps up expansion worldwide.

Zeekr is the premium battery electric vehicle (BEV) unit of China’s Geely Holding which also owns Volvo Cars, Lotus Cars plus Polestar and the Chinese Lynk & Co brands.

The group, including subsidiaries and joint ventures, increased global sales 20% to 2.8m vehicles last year.

Group president An Conghui, speaking at the China EV100 Forum in Beijing, said Zeekr planned to launch sales in six new European countries this year including Sweden, the Netherlands and Germany.

Conghui suggested Europe was like Geely’s “second home market”, given the group’s extensive automotive brand ownership, adding its vehicles would soon be available in 38 countries including in south east Asia and the Middle East.

He said that the group “aspires to become like Volkswagen in the era of new energy vehicles” by adopting the German group multi brand strategy.

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Zeekr sales last year rose 65% to 118,685 vehicles, short of its target of 140,000, while cumulative sales since operations began reached 197,000.

At the end of 2023, the company unveiled a new range of fast charging lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries which are seen as cheaper than current lithium ion packs and also safer and longer lasting.