Lynk & Co plans to deliver their first vehicles in Europe in spring 2021. The Geely subsidiary is starting with the hybrid SUV 01, which shares the platform with the Volvo XC40. A subscription-like membership model will also handle sales in Europe.
If the 2021 deadline is met, the European launch will take place almost five years after the announcement. As early as 2016, the 01 was announced in full and named as the model with which the Geely brand intends to leap to Europe. The planned European production in the Belgian Volvo plant in Ghent was also cancelled – officially, because the capacities there were needed for the well-running XC40 and Lynk & Co would not have been able to obtain the capacities they considered necessary.
Therefore the 01, if it will be sold in Europe, will also be produced in China. The concept of the 01 was presented in 2016, and sales in China have been running since November 2017. Technically, the 01 uses the CMA platform developed by Volvo and Geely. In China, only a 140 kW four-cylinder gasoline engine was available at the market launch. Still, now a hybrid (145 kW) and a plug-in hybrid (193 kW system power) are also available – the latter two are coupled with a 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine.
In Europe, only the HEV and PHEV will be offered, but not the gasoline variant. Lynk & Co speaks of up to 70 kilometres of pure electric range with the PHEV, according to WLTP. In a datasheet, the Geely brand confirms somewhat hidden the specifications of the European version (including 132 kW gasoline, 60 kW electric motor and a standard consumption of 1.1 litres per 100 kilometres for the PHEV). What is striking is that apart from the range, the communication itself does not mention any technical data at all.
Probably also for good reason, because the marketing of Lynk & Co. is fully targeted for a certain clientele: Not the petrol-heads who want to know every screw on their car, but people who want to be mobile sustainably and cleanly without having to worry too much about the vehicle or the technology.
The sales model was also designed with this in mind. The subscription-like membership model is intended to replace the classic purchase or leasing. To reduce their monthly costs – according to brand CEO Alain Visser, a maximum of 500 euros per month – they can also pass on their vehicle to other members and thus reduce their monthly costs. In extreme cases, apparently even down to zero.
These maximum 500 euros should include all costs apart from fuel and, in the case of the PHEV, electricity – i.e. maintenance, insurance and full access to the connectivity offered. According to Visser, it should be possible to complete the membership online with just a few clicks from the end of October, and it can be terminated again with one month’s notice. The membership is initially free of charge, in this basic version vehicles of other members can be booked for a fee. In the membership with a vehicle, monthly costs will then be incurred. For members and interested parties, there will also be so-called “clubs”. The first of these brand locations in Europe is to open in Amsterdam at the end of October, the second in Gothenburg is to follow. Further “clubs” are planned for the coming year.
Only two options: drive & colour
When choosing the vehicle, the effort should remain minimal for the customer, according to Visser. There is no configuration in the classical sense with various equipment lines or individual options. The customer can only choose between the two drive systems HEV and PHEV and two paint finishes (blue or black). For the rest, there is only full equipment.
Former Volvo Marketing Director Visser, who moved to the then-new brand Lynk & Co within the Geely Group in 2015, is as confident as ever. “The automotive industry has continued with a distribution and ownership model that has existed for 100 years,” says Visser. “We’re changing that. Customers today value products that reflect their digital and ever-changing lifestyle.” And: “We exist to change mobility forever.”
If the membership model is successful in Europe, other vehicle models from Lynk & Co could follow. In China, the 02 sedans and the 03 SUV are already on the market.
Last week, Lynk & Co made global headlines when the company presented its new SEA electric platform in Beijing – along with the announcement that it will also be offering it to other car manufacturers. Daimler (where Geely holds a stake) is reportedly one of the first interested parties. Lynk & Co itself allegedly wants to build the Model 08 based on the SEA, but other Geely brands are also supposed to use the technology. The recently confirmed series version of the Polestar Precept may also use exactly this platform.
Source: press release via email, carscoops.com
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