Zeekr X & 009 coming to Malaysia, Sentinel Automotive named as local partner

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Over the past weekend, on June 8th specifically, Zeekr - Geely’s premium EV brand - announced it had signed a cooperation agreement with Malaysia's Sentinel Automotive Sdn. Bhd. in Kuala Lumpur, marking its official entry our local market.

Its Malaysian plans seem to be fast-tracked with the inaugural store to be opened in Kuala Lumpur in the coming months with plans to expand to other locations such as Selangor and Penang by the end of this year.

Zeekr’s Southeast Asian plans also include a heavy focus on capturing the Indonesian market as well which, alongside its nomination of a local distributor for Malaysia, has also named Indonesia's PT Premium Auto Prima.

We've tried to dig up more on Sentinel Automotive Sdn Bhd but, for now, have not turned up any strong leads as to their prior history or ties to the automotive market. More information will be forthcoming as this comes to light.

The right-hand drive (RHD) versions of the Zeekr X SUV and Zeekr 009 MPV are confirmed to be the initial flagship models to be introduced. Reportedly, the first right-hand drive Zeekr X units have rolled off the production line in China on Friday June 7th, with overseas deliveries expected to start in the third quarter of this year.

This tracks almost in lockstep with the increased sightings of undisguised units of the Zeekr X, a compact fully electric crossover related to the Volvo EX30 and smart #1, around Klang Valley. However, the larger 009 MPV, if it similarly reached our shores, has so far eluded the public eye.

Currently, Zeekr operates in more than 25 markets globally and aims to expand to over 50 international markets this year, including regions in Europe, Asia, Oceania, and Latin America.

Zeekr’s own materials surrounding this announcement describes the Southeast Asian market, with a population of 700 million, as poised to become a new battleground for automakers, and a strategic staging ground to further their plans for expansion in Australasia and the Middle East.

This year, with the X being available for pre-order in Thailand since March, Zeekr has already expressedly entered the Philippines, Laos, and Myanmar, and has begun deliveries to RHD markets like Singapore, Hong Kong, and Macau.

In May, Zeekr delivered 18,616 vehicles, reflecting a year-on-year increase of 115% and a month-on-month rise of 16%. From January to May, Zeekr's cumulative deliveries reached 67,764 vehicles, achieving 29.46% of its annual sales target of 230,000 vehicles.

By the end of May, Zeekr had opened 392 stores worldwide, built 1,076 charging stations, and launched 487 ultra-fast charging stations, totaling 2,615 ultra-fast charging piles. The number of ultra-fast charging stations is projected to rise to 1,000 in 2024 and 10,000 by 2026.

Geely’s plans also seem to be two-pronged, seeing how Proton are also confirmed to be fielding their own EV model some time in the near future. That said, how much this is a ground-up effort or one related to an existing model remains to be seen.

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Zeekr Geely Malaysia EV X 009 Sentinel Automotive 2024



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