China’s Zeekr hires ex-Lexus brand veteran to helm Europe operations



SHANGHAI — China’s Zeekr has hired a former Lexus executive to helm its operations in Europe, according to a memo seen by Reuters, as the electric vehicle maker plans to sell into the region later this year.

Spiros Fotinos, who spent 24 years with Toyota and led the brand management of Lexus globally, joined Zeekr in September as the chief executive officer of Zeekr Europe to oversee the brand’s operation in the region, the memo showed.

A Zeekr representative confirmed the appointment of Fotinos.

The previously unreported move underscores Zeekr’s efforts to establish a foothold in the premium EV segment in the home markets of BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi.

The Geely-owned brand said on Wednesday it planned to offer the SUV-styled Zeekr X and its Zeekr 001 EV sedan in western Europe. Zeekr previously said it would start delivering in Europe in the fourth quarter of this year.

Zeekr CEO Andy An said then the company would provide more details on its strategy for overseas sales at the Shanghai auto show, scheduled for April 18-27.

It aims to sell 140,000 Zeekr cars this year, doubling the figure in 2022, An added.

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