Chinese automaker Geely has introduced a new global brand, Lynk & Co., and their first model, an SUV developed alongside with Volvo in Berlin tonight. Geely's hopes for this new brand is to "disrupt the automobile industry and redesign the process of buying, owning and using a car".
The SUV called the 01 looks like a Porsche Cayenne up front and possibly Volvo along the side. Power will come from a hybrid system comprised of a 1.5L three-cylinder engine and electric motor. Other engines options will be announced at a later time. Transmissions include a manual and dual-clutch automatic. The 01 uses Volvo's CMA (Compact Modular Architecture) platform - something we'll be seeing in the near future with Volvo's upcoming 40-Series.
But the big story with Lynk & Co isn't the 01, it is everything around it. First, Lynk & Co will sell their vehicles either online or at select store locations. A small number of trims will be offered for each to model to help keep costs down. Prices will be fixed in all markets and buyers will have their new vehicle delivered to their home. If servicing needs to take place, Lynk & Co will pick up the vehicle.
Second, Lynk owners can make money by sharing their vehicle. A share button in the infotainment system allows an owner to grant a shared key to others to drive the vehicle. Third, Lynk is giving developers an open application programming interface to develop in-car applications. Lynk says the likes of Microsoft, Ericsson, and Alibaba are helping out with building the infrastructure needed for this.
Geely plans on launching Lynk & Co next year in China, with Europe and the U.S. following in 2018. There will be more models down the line (02, 03, etc) such as a sedan.