Stefan Sielaff: "Personality is returning to design"

ZEEKR X Profile Static

Car Design News chats to Geely’s design boss about the Zeekr X compact SUV and how “old school” design principles have placed a focus on precision

There is an air of Sino-Scandi fusion about upstart carmaker Zeekr, an almost unavoidable result of a Chinese brand designing its cars exclusively out of Gothenburg. (Editor’s note: there is now a Shanghai studio set to enter the mix – more to come on that soon.)

On one hand, there are minimalist, well-trimmed interiors with muted tones of grey, cream and green that are typical of homes, restaurants and hotels in this part of the world. On the other, there is the ability to play cat and dog noises via the exterior speakers, sync music to a choregraphed light sequence, and a cute whale emblem hidden away in the corner of the windscreen – quirky elements brought in for a younger Chinese market.


The Zeekr X on a test drive on the outskirts of Stockholm 

It is indeed a playful brand that is looking to balance the aspirations of a younger audience but also the comfort and quality expected by a more mature driver. In its marketing material, Zeekr even describes one half of its key market as “young old” – those that are near retirement age and have disposable income, free time to explore and remain on trend.

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