Chinese car giant Geely has launched LYNK & CO, a new global car brand whose first model – the 01 SUV – will go on sale in China in 2017, followed by Europe and the USA.
Developed in partnership with Volvo at CEVT (China Euro Vehicle Technology), a shared Geely-Volvo R&D centre, the car is based on the Swedish manufacturer’s Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform; the latter was first announced last year and is a smaller but more advanced version of the brand’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA).
As well as its engineering core being created in Europe, the new car’s exterior styling and form language has also been formulated largely in Sweden, namely, by Geely’s executive vice president of design – and not to mention former Volvo design boss – Peter Horbury.
“The design brief for LYNK & CO was simple: the cars should stand out from the crowd and appeal to a truly global audience. From a distance, we have a European design approach,” says head of Geely Design Sweeden, Andreas Nilsson.
In terms of powertrain options, Geely has yet to release any specific details for the 01, although the SUV is likely to come fitted with some of Volvo’s 3- and 4-cylinder Drive E engines.
These will be mated to a seven-speed double-clutch automatic developed by CEVT, which will be available across the line-up, alongside a manual gearbox.
LYNK & CO also says it is going to ditch the traditional dealership model when it comes to sales. Instead, the brand intends to sell direct to consumers via the internet or in owned retail stores.
With traditional distribution costs typically in the region of 25 per cent of the price of a car, company bosses say the new business model will deliver “significant savings”; some of the new digital customer infrastructure is even said to have been developed with Microsoft and Alibaba.
The newly-formed brand further intends to abandon the traditional concept of offering base models and long option lists that are claimed to create infinite build configurations and costs in manufacturing.
Inspired by the fashion and technology sectors, “trim levels and option lists” will therefore be replaced with a simplified selection of fully equipped, fixed-price “collections” themed to meet customer preferences.
“While other car brands are undergoing a digital transformation, LYNK & CO is born digital. The lack of legacy systems and the ability to build solutions in the cloud enable us to depart from the old model of car sales and service to bring the customer seamlessly through an omnichannel platform,” says David Green, LYNK & CO’s chief digital officer.
Source: LYNK & CO