Zeekr Launches Official Used Car Marketplace and Zeekr Certified Program
Author: Zhang Ruichen
Editor: Pan Tan
On March 6, Zeekr Intelligent Technology held the official launch of its Zeekr Certified used car program, announcing that it aims to provide users with a one-stop service ecosystem for buying, selling, and trading cars to alleviate concerns about vehicle resale values. At the same time, Zeekr also announced the official opening of its used car marketplace, enabling users to view and purchase a wide range of used cars available throughout the country in real time.
During the launch event, Zhao Yuhui, vice president of Zeekr Intelligent Technology, announced that Zeekr has already delivered over 86,000 vehicles and aims to deliver 140,000 vehicles by the end of 2023. Zhao explained, “With the growth of our user base, Zeekr Certified’s official used car program can effectively assist in the development of industry standards.”
Zhao also laid out four ways in which the Zeekr brand aims to standardize its used car certification business:
1. Smart Detection and Fair Pricing
Zeekr uses proprietary testing tools to detect, grade, and price used cars using over 360 testing metrics and 55 certification standards. This approach aims to avoid the haphazard situations found in traditional used vehicle markets.
2. Resale Value Guarantee
Given the rapid iteration of EV products, the resale value of used electric vehicles is typically lower than that of traditional gasoline vehicles. To alleviate concerns, Zeekr pledged to guarantee the resale value of its used cars. If the online assessment and offline testing confirm that the vehicle conditions are consistent with the price offered, Zeekr will repurchase the vehicle at a promised price.### 3. Complete Transparency of Car Condition
When it comes to buying a used car, the problem of opaque car condition often arises. This includes issues such as buying a water-damaged car, false mileage reports, and undisclosed accident records. Asymmetrical information is also the biggest risk for users who buy used cars, as incomplete and opaque data on a car’s condition can lead to problems.
To address these safety concerns, Zeekr introduced a “one-code traceability” solution. This generates a QR code, which when scanned, displays all the information about the car.
4. Lifetime Quality Assurance for Three Electrical Components
Currently, there is an unfair default in new energy vehicles, where many rights are only limited to the first car owner. This is also the reason why the overall residual value of new energy vehicles is low. After all, if I buy a used new energy car, I will miss out on many of those rights and benefits, which is definitely not ideal. Therefore, Zeekr has decided to give everyone equal treatment. All users who purchase second-hand cars certified by Zeekr can also enjoy the first car owner’s three-point lifetime quality guarantee, worry-free return and replacement, etc.
In the month of February, Zeekr delivered only 5,455 new cars, an increase of 87.1% year-on-year and 75.1% month-on-month. However, in the first two months of 2023, Zeekr only delivered a total of 8,571 new cars, which is not even as high as the monthly sales volume in December of last year. Compared with the previous performance of Zeekr’s 001 model, which had a monthly sales volume of over 10,000 for several consecutive months, it is clear that Zeekr’s current sales performance is not satisfactory.
While poor sales in January may have been due to the Chinese New Year holiday and the upgrading of Zeekr’s intelligent factory production lines, Zeekr has no excuse for February’s results. Zeekr hopes to rebuild its brand image through its used car business, convincing customers to “buy Zeekr, no problem, Zeekr has got you covered when you want to sell”. However, whether this approach can bring new vitality and success to Zeekr’s business remains to be seen. If there is no improvement, it will be difficult to achieve the goal of selling 140,000 new cars by the end of 2023.Starting from the end of 2021, the Zeekr brand has begun delivery, and the first batch of owners who received the cars have only had them for just over a year. As an example of a used car trading platform, the 2021 long-range dual-motor WE version, with a January 2022 registration and a displayed mileage of 1.51 kilometers, is priced at 259,800 RMB, which is approximately 70,000 RMB less than the invoice price and has a residual value rate of about 78.7%.
In fact, compared to the entire new energy used car industry, this is not a particularly outstanding residual value rate, but the middlemen who buy, test, and sell the cars in this industry earn the price difference. Therefore, Zeekr’s used car business can reduce the costs of testing, evaluation, and sales and thereby, help improve the residual value rate of Zeekr brand models.
According to the “2022 December China Automotive Residual Value Research Report” jointly released by the China Automobile Dealers Association and Jingzhengu, the average residual value rate of Zeekr 001 for one year is 83.7%, which ranks third among energy vehicles in terms of residual value rate. However, due to the short delivery time of Zeekr brand vehicles, the residual value rate of quasi-new cars is generally optimistic, so this data is not representative. Moreover, Zeekr brand models are not on the list of new energy vehicle residual value rankings by Dcdapp currently, indicating that Zeekr’s residual value rate still needs to be studied.
In fact, the used car market for new energy vehicles is currently in an unstable stage, affected by external factors such as sudden policy cancellations, Tesla’s price drops, and other factors that cause variations in used car prices on a daily basis. For example, a second-hand Tesla Model Y bought for over 280,000 RMB in the first half of last year could be much cheaper for a new car in the second half of the year. Therefore, Zeekr being the first brand to regulate its second-hand cars deserves recognition, but its actual effectiveness remains to be seen, considering the difference in prices between electric cars in Northeast China and Hainan, even if their kilometers and model year are equal.
This article is a translation by ChatGPT of a Chinese report from 42HOW. If you have any questions about it, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.