Lynk & Co, the all-new car company with models developed in Sweden and built in China, has revealed more details of its forthcoming model line-up.
Speaking exclusively to Auto Express, Lynk & Co’s Senior Vice President Alain Visser, said: “In between the 01 SUV and 03 saloon will be a type of crossover vehicle that we’ll reveal soon. It’s got SUV cues, but it’s probably a bit lower. You’ll see that most of our cars are relatively small in size.”
Visser also revealed that Lynk & Co will launch in the UK before the end of the decade. “We’re launching in China this year and Europe and US in mid-2019. We anticipate being in the UK by the end of ’19,” he told us.
The 01 SUV will be first to market, followed by the 02 Crossover, probably a couple of years later. An 03 saloon, previewed by the 03 Concept at this year’s Shanghai Motor Show, will come after that.
Although SUVs are traditionally bought by family buyers, Visser is seeing that change. And with Lynk & Co targeting a younger audience, the 02 Crossover will play to that. “A Lynk & Co is a very sporty car, we also want it to feel very young in terms of design; young without wanting to be flashy, but with an agile, sporty-orientated, European drive style,” said Visser.
“And we’re seeing more and more young people are taking small SUVs, cars that people can take their friends with them.”
Lynk and Co to “sell mobility” with new car buying model
Lynk & Co’s subscription model, in addition to outright sale and leasing methods of buying, is also expected to appeal to younger buyers, as Visser explained: “For a price per month you become part of the Lynk & Co community. You buy a Lynk & Co contract, like a mobile phone, maybe for one month, maybe for one week, maybe for 1000 miles or you just continue to do it.
“We want to sell cars, but we will most of all sell mobility. So we’ll sell cars via a subscription model, where you pay a monthly fee and extend it or not, but within that fee you can change car every day or swap it whenever you want it.
“So say you pay your monthly fee, we haven’t calculated it but let’s assume it’s £200 and you spend five days a month where the car is at the airport. For these five days you put your car on share, and for £20 a day you get £100 back. It’s a very simple business model for an individual to understand.”
Much of that is controlled by the tech and connectivity, as Visser tells us, “For us, our real USP is connectivity. For Volvo it’s safety, but for us it’s connectivity.”
Lynk & Co’s chief digital officer, Brit David Green, explains how it works: “First of all you have a touchscreen. It wasn’t the mobile phone that changed the world, but the touchscreen attached to it. We have a touchscreen in every car and connectivity in every car – it’s on 24 hours a day.
“When you or your car knows it not being used, you can use the share button. You choose when and for how long, then the car shows its available to Lynk & Co subscribers using the app.
“You get to choose who uses your car – friends and family, a wider community, or anyone – and it runs on feedback to see who you can trust. And how you take payment depends on the market.”
Green also revealed how Lynk & Co could work with property developers on a car sharing scheme. “We’re looking at working with building firms where you build apartment blocks and maybe they have eight cars as part of it,” he says. “You buy an apartment and it includes mobility. There are eight cars there and you just share them with your neighbours.”
The app will also arm a digital key to allow you or others to gain access to your car – including shopping services delivering goods directly into your car.
With Lynk & Co avoiding the traditional sales showrooms and relying on the internet, stores in premium shopping centres and pop-up shops at events, shared cars could play a role in the test drive. “If you’ve hit the Share Button, we could set that car up for a test drive with a downloaded route into the sat nav and even a stereo demo downloaded into the car and played at an appropriate time.”
What do yo think of Lynk and Co’s plans? Can it challenge Tesla? Join the debate in the comments…