Lynk & Co is probably the most innovative and relevant automotive brand you’ve never heard of. Launched in 2016, it’s part of Geely Auto Group, the Chinese company famous for acquiring Volvo back in 2010, which also owns Lotus, Malaysian auto brand Proton and more. Lynk & Co started selling its first model, simply called “01”, in 2017, with a record order of 6,000 units in just 2 minutes and 17 seconds, with a total of 120,000 cars sold the next year, which is also unprecedented for an all-new brand. The cars are designed and engineered in Sweden, but so far have only be sold in China. This year the company will launch the 01 in Europe, using its direct-to-consumer sales model, which it shares with Tesla for example, and an innovative monthly subscription: “use it for one month and return it if you like”, the company says. It’s the Netflix-model applied to automotive.
The system is pretty simple: when the owner is not driving, he can share his car to other people in the Lynk & Co club. It all happens in the app and the lender stipulates what it costs and when and where the vehicle should be left again. “We see a global trend where there is a huge move away from ‘ownership’ and more towards ‘experiences’, so people have less desire to ‘own’ things and more of a desire to ‘do’ things”, explains Alain Vissier, CEO of Lynk & Co.
In 2018, you were the fastest-growing new car brand in the world. How did you achieve such a result?
The whole car industry seems to have an efficient business model and so to just come up with another new car brand may not be the right answer. So our strategic, deliberate decision was to do something else.
Sharing economy looks bigger than just a generation or two, of people born after 1980, don’t you think?
People don’t necessarily need to own what they use, but just want to use it. So we always said, this could be the same within the car industry. We’ve always described our model a bit like Spotify, or Netflix, of the car industry where you don’t buy CDs or DVDs, you just stream music. You don’t necessarily need to buy a car, but you buy mobility.