"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.”

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...

Most Popular

New Vauxhall Crossland Griffin arrives to boost SUV’s appeal
Vauxhall Crossland Griffin
Vauxhall Crossland

New Vauxhall Crossland Griffin arrives to boost SUV’s appeal

The new Vauxhall Crossland Griffin undercuts the SE on price, but adds more equipment
26 Jul 2021
New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range
Kia EV6 - front
Kia EV6

New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range

Kia reveals more specs for its bespoke electric car, with the EV6 offering long range and an 18-minute 80 per cent rapid recharge time
21 Jul 2021
New 2022 Range Rover Sport spotted testing on the road
Range Rover Sport spyshot 1
Land Rover Range Rover Sport

New 2022 Range Rover Sport spotted testing on the road

Land Rover’s replacement for the Range Rover Sport will get racier styling and an all-new electric-ready platform
20 Jul 2021