"Launching a new car brand is not for the faint-hearted"

LYNK & CO announced last week its plans for future-looking mobility - and Graham Hope found it very interesting

THE launch of an all-new car brand is always interesting. But I found last week’s global introduction of LYNK & CO – Chinese giant Geely’s project that aims to take the connected car concept to a new level – especially fascinating, not least because of the honesty of all involved.

Firstly, Conghui An, president and CEO of the Geely Auto Group, tacitly admitted: “Many will say the world does not need another auto brand.” 

New Lynk & Co 01 unveiled

Then Brit Peter Horbury, executive vice president of Geely Design, confessed that creating the all-new brand was “incredibly challenging”. Starting with, literally, a blank piece of paper was, he continued, “daunting, but also liberating”. The brand’s SUV, the 01 is, to these eyes at least, a credible start.

Lynk and Co SUV concept rear

And then, of course, there is the fact that Geely’s involvement will conjure up mainly negative preconceptions for some buyers on account of its Chinese heritage. LYNK & CO vice-president Alain Visser tackled this head on, saying: “We think that this may be one of the biggest potential hurdles. There is a perception of lack of quality with Chinese cars, and even of fake products. That’s why our link with Volvo [another Geely brand] is so important.”

Advertisement - Article continues below

The fact LYNK & CO has gone to such lengths to develop the car in Sweden and give it a European look, when half its sales will be in China, says a lot about how Chinese cars are seen in their home market. I’ll be curious to see if this bold approach works. 

PSA launches Free2Move sub-brand

What does it all mean for Brits? Well, an innovative sales model – with opportunities for sharing, leasing and subscriptions for urban users – is arguably of more interest than the car itself. “We’re selling mobility, not cars,” is how Visser put it. With recent data showing London is set to become a 10million megacity by 2024, LYNK & CO’s arrival could be quite timely. You can bet the industry will be watching with interest.

Do you think LYNK & CO will succeed? Let us know in the comments below...




'The temporary shutdown of car factories could benefit manufacturers and customers'

With car factories around the world closing temporarily, it may give manufacturers the chance to clear out the current backlog of unsold new cars, say…
28 Mar 2020

‘JLR’s very British approach: keep calm and carry on’

Editor-in-chief Steve Fowler praises Jaguar Land Rover on both its ability to handle a crisis
26 Mar 2020

'Car exhibitions are going through the most dramatic period of change in a generation'

With the changing car market, the government's petrol & diesel ban plus the unprecedented Coronavirus, the car exhibition industry is going through a …
22 Mar 2020

'We’ll always be here to bring you the best in car news'

In this extraordinary period of unprecedented action, fear not as Auto Express will always be here to deliver you the very best in car news
19 Mar 2020

Most Popular

Bentley Continental GT

Bentley’s built a horse-themed Continental GT Convertible

The bespoke Continental GT Convertible Equestrian Edition features tweed door panels, a walnut dash and gold “horse and rider” emblems
9 Mar 2020

Most Wanted Cars 2020: poll

Decide which classic car you would most want to see brought back from the dead by an all new model
27 Mar 2020
Porsche Taycan

New Porsche Taycan 2020 review

Electric Porsche Taycan sports car delivers the goods as we try out in the UK for first time
27 Mar 2020