The Geely Group brands include well-known brands such as Volvo and Zeekr. The Swedes will take advantage of the development of their brothers to present the first minivan in their history, although there is a catch.
The irruption of the SUV at the beginning of the century has brought about a revolution in the most traditional segments of the market. MPVs, previously the car of choice for families, have significantly reduced their sales in Europe. Currently, only the largest formats are preserved which, curiously, are indeed experiencing a golden period. Electrification is a natural step in this evolution of the market and Volvo wants to contribute its grain of the sand. The Swedes will enter the minivan segment and we already know where they will get their inspiration from, although there is a small problem in this regard.
In 2010 the Geely Group became the largest shareholder in Volvo. After the maneuver, those from Gothenburg became controlled by the Chinese, although during these 13 years of association, nothing has prevented Volvo from maintaining its traditional trail. After leaving the ranks of Ford, Volvo has managed to further exploit its range with launches as important as the Volvo XC60 or the most recent Volvo XC40 and Volvo C40 Recharge. The alliance has also allowed the Swedes to have access to technologies and systems that would otherwise have been almost impossible for them to have.
The Geely Group is one of the largest automobile conglomerates in China. After spreading its tentacles across the Old Continent, Geely has under its control firms as disparate as Volvo, Lotus, Polestar, Lynk&Co, Smart, and Zeekr. It is in the latter that Volvo will pay close attention to the development and production of what will be its first minivan. The official announcement has been made by Qin Peiji, president of Volvo in China. Its launch is scheduled for the end of this year but already has a 2024 model, as stated in the slide published by Carnewschina.
At the same media press conference, Peiji stated that Volvo’s minivan will be directly inspired by the newly introduced Zeekr 009. The companies will share the SEA1 platform and will also use the same CATL battery format, the already famous Qilin batteries. Thanks to them, the Swedish minivan could overcome the barrier of 800 kilometers of range (in the CLTC cycle). As for the rest of the technical details, a measure of close to 5.2 meters long can be expected, which will position it directly against rivals of the likes of the Mercedes EQV, one of the best-selling minivans in the world.
Now is when things go wrong. As cool as that minivan with the Volvo badge on the nose sounds, the launch is only confirmed for China. Nothing has been said about a possible export to Europe, although it has not been completely ruled out either. The production will take place at the Geely facilities and its sale price could start at figures close to 80,000 euros to change. For its part, Zeekr does have its sights set on the Old Continent, mainly in markets such as Norway, Germany, or the Netherlands, where it expects to sell more than 140,000 units this year.