Lynk & CO, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, hopes to overturn the traditional ownership model with monthly subscriptions.
The Chinese have launched the first model in Europe, namely the compact SUV 01.
01 is a close cousin of the Volvo XC40, with which it shares the CMA platform and many components of the propulsion system. But while the XC40 is available with a fully electric powertrain, Lynk & CO 01 is only available in Europe as a full hybrid or plug-in hybrid, depending on the country.
Lynk & CO, which is jointly owned by Volvo Cars and Geely Auto, was successful in China, where 01 was first launched in 2017. The total then sales of 01 and four other models amounted to approximately 570,000. of models.
In Europe, Lynk & CO pushes the subscription model to 500 euros per month for up to 1,250 km, with cancellation available at any time. After-sales service is managed through the Volvo network, as well as through a dedicated Lynk & CO call center in the Netherlands.
Lynk & CO currently has 30,000 orders in Europe for 01, said CEO Alain Visser.
The main retail channel is online, but Lynk & CO is quickly opening “clubs” in major European cities, where potential buyers can learn about the subscription plan from representatives.
01 only comes in blue or black, and Econyl’s unique interior choice combines those colors. It is only available with front-wheel drive. There are no other options, which reduce the production costs and make it easier to move the machines from the factory into the hands of the buyers.
“There is only one choice, two colors,” said Visser. “So we always have the right car in stock. No matter what comes from the factory, we can deliver it. ”
Standard equipment includes a panoramic roof, a 12.7-inch horizontally centered center touchscreen, a front-facing “travel camera” to record images from road trips for sharing on social media, an induction charger for mobile phones, and a application-based digital key.
In terms of performance, the Lynk & CO 01 plug-in hybrid has a small advantage over the XC40. Although they have the same three-cylinder turbo engine and 1.5 liters of gasoline, 01 has a larger battery, which gives it 69 km range compared to 45 km for the XC40.
The mainstream compact SUV segment is poised to become the largest in Europe, and buyers have a stunning range of models and propulsion systems to choose from.
Lynk & CO 01’s rivals include the Ford Kuga hybrid plug-in; Peugeot 3008, Opel / Vauxhall Grandland and Citroen C5 Aircross from Stellantis, the fully hybrid Nissan Qashqai version; Toyota RAV4 and CH-R fully hybrid; the Volkswagen Tiguan plug-in hybrid; and Hyundai Tucson full hybrid and plug-in hybrid.