New Ji Yue brand launches first electric SUV

On Monday, the major Chinese automotive group, Geely, officially announced the birth of another ‘daughter’, its new Ji Yue brand. Created in common with Baidu, China’s dominant internet search engine company, it’ll launch its first model by the end of this year.

However, the Ji Yue 01, the new flagship model, isn’t new. We know it as the ROBO-01, an electric SUV from Jidu Automotive built on Geely’s SEA platform.

China’s leading internet search engine company, Baidu, hasn’t made any noise lately about its ambition to enter the automotive sector. Last year, the company unveiled the ROBO-01 under its car-building arm Jidu Auto. However, since then, it’s been radio silence. The brand even missed the Shanghai Auto Show.

Branch of Geely

On Monday, Geely made things clear for everyone. In a press release, the Chinese automotive holding announced the creation of Ji Yue, a new automotive brand presented as the “next generation automotive robocar brand”, whatever that means.

Behind this news hides a significant advancement in the strategic partnership between the two Chinese companies. While Jidu Auto was owned 55% by Baidu and 45% by Geely, the latter now owns 65% of the new Ji Yue brand.


The new Ji Yue brand will develop its own charging network /Geely

“Beyond overseeing sales, services, and marketing for the 01, Ji Yue will also build and develop its own charging network within China to satisfy consumer demand for smart, intelligent electric vehicles,” Geely adds in a press release.

Ji Yue 01

All in all, this is just Geely putting things in order. With a new brand comes a new model. Already presented by Jidu as the ROBO-01, the new Ji Yue renames it simply the 01. In short, it’s the same electric SUV with the same design and technology. It sits on Geely’s SEA platform, as do the Zeekr 01 and Smart #3.

China’s regulatory filing to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has already unveiled pictures of the production model, similar to the show car.

The production model is set to arrive in China by the end of this year. Geely’ll build it, but the 01 will include “Baidu’s cutting-edge and industry-leading AI technologies, including advanced intelligent cabins and autonomous driving”, says the press release.

A regulatory filing shows the production model of the new Ji Yue 01 /MIIT


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