June 13, 2024

Who is bringing Zeekr EVs to Malaysia?


KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 — Zeekr is set to enter Malaysia as early as this year. According to a report from China, Geely’s subsidiary has appointed a local partner, Sentinel Automotive to establish the brand in Malaysia.

Who is Sentinel Automotive?

Given the brand’s connection with Geely, one might be expecting Pro-Net would be the one that is going to bring Zeekr to Malaysia. Not only it is responsible for Smart (which is also a subsidiary of Geely) in Malaysia and Thailand, but its parent company Proton also has a direct relationship with Geely.

However, let’s not forget that there is another Geely subsidiary that already rolled out its EV in Malaysia: Lotus. This is where things get rather interesting.

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Since Sentinel Automotive Sdn Bhd is not a familiar name to us, we decided to learn more about the company through its profile in the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) database. The profile revealed that Karrus Automotive is the sole shareholder of Sentinel Automotive.

The founder of Karrus Automotive, Mohamad Reza bin Abdul Mutalib is listed in the SSM profile as one of Sentinel Automotive’s directors. What the profile did not mention though is that Reza Mutalib is also the founder of Lotus Karz, the official importer and distributor of Lotus in Malaysia.

Given that Zeekr is being positioned as a premium brand just like Lotus, this might be the connection that has convinced Zeekr to cooperate with Sentinel Automotive to establish the brand’s presence in Malaysia.

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Zeekr X and Zeekr 009 will be the first models for Malaysia

Zeekr X. — Image source: Zeekr via SoyaCincau

Meanwhile, the report from China has also noted that one of the models that have been earmarked for release in Malaysia is the Zeekr X. This subcompact crossover SUV can be obtained with either a single or dual motor setup with an output of up to 315kW (422hp) for the dual motor variant.

Together with a maximum torque of 543Nm, the EV has a top speed of 190km/h and can accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in 3.8 seconds. Powered by a 66kWh ternary lithium battery pack, the Zeekr X can deliver up to 440km according to the WLTP standard although this rating only applies to the single motor variant.

A Zeekr X with a right-hand drive setup. — Image source: Zeekr China/Weibo via SoyaCincau

A Zeekr X with a right-hand drive setup. — Image source: Zeekr China/Weibo via SoyaCincau

Zeekr X is built using the Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) 2 platform similar to Smart #1. This is likely the reason why both EVs generally have the same battery capacity and range.

Another model that will be released in Malaysia is the Zeekr 009. The massive MPV is powered by a ternary lithium battery pack from CATL with capacities of up to 140kWh which helps the fully electric MPV deliver CLTC-rated range of up to 822km.

Unlike its SUV sibling, the 009 only comes in a dual-motor setup which has a total output of 400kW (536hp) and 686Nm of torque. Despite its size, Zeekr claimed that this MPV can go from 0 to 100km/h in just 4.5 seconds.

Zeekr 009. — Image source: Zeekr via SoyaCincau

Zeekr 009. — Image source: Zeekr via SoyaCincau

Over in China, the Zeekr X is priced at CNY200,000 (~RM130,122) while the Zeekr 009 with 116kWh battery is available for CNY500,000 (RM325,305). As for the Zeekr 009 with 140kWh battery, it is priced at CNY588,000 (~RM382,559).

Zeekr stores to be opened in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, and Penang

A Zeekr dealership in Stockholm, Sweden. — Image source: Zeekr via SoyaCincau

A Zeekr dealership in Stockholm, Sweden. — Image source: Zeekr via SoyaCincau

Another interesting detail that has been revealed by the report in China is that Zeekr’s first store will be opened in Kuala Lumpur. In addition to that, Selangor and Penang have also been shortlisted as the locations for the brand’s new stores in Malaysia with construction to begin this year itself.

The report did not mention anything about local assembly or production facilities for Malaysia though. Then again, Zeekr has previously said that its right-hand drive (RHD) operation will be based in Thailand. — SoyaCincau



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