By on October 14, 2016

lynk

Forget Chevrolet’s cringe-inducing launch of the first-generation Spark — this could be the biggest hipster Millennial marketing/branding effort to date.

Naturally, it’s for an affordable car brand, but with a difference: this brand is completely new and its products have yet to be revealed. Lynk & Co, a new subsidiary of Volvo parent company Geely, launches on October 20, Reuters reports, and it’s clear it wants to be every free-spirited young adult’s first car.

For starters, Lynk & Co sounds like the Millennialest of all Millennial businesses. It’s easy to imagine that brand name emblazoned on a black shirt, perhaps above a pair of crossed oars. It sounds like an artisan coffee company. It sounds like an artisan marketing studio. It sounds like a telecommunications provider (artisan, perhaps). It sounds like … anything but a car company.

However, Lynk & Co aims to be a mass-market automaker for its Chinese parent company, flinging mid-range vehicles across the globe. The hot Chinese market comes first, as Geely wants to repel American inroads by the likes of General Motors. Asia and Europe come next.

The first model reportedly rides atop a Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform developed by Geely and Volvo.

The brand’s hipsterish website, lynkco.com, features a clock countdown and contains no images or videos of its products. As young people on bikes pedal past us and do spontaneous things, we’re left guessing as to what kind of vehicle to expect. A subcompact, youth-oriented crossover or compact hatchback seem likely possibilities.

Reuters notes that the website shares an internet license and other registration details with Geely and its subsidiary, China Euro Vehicle Technology, which coordinates R&D efforts with Volvo. When contacted, CEVT spokesman Stefan Lundin confirmed to the wire service that the company behind the website is also developing the vehicle’s platform.

Lynk & Co will launch in Berlin on October 20, Lundin claims. We’re not sure if there’ll be a deejay or if it’s an acoustic event. Bring your toque.

[Image capture: www.lynkco.com]

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52 Comments on “Shadowy Car Brand Launches Next Week, Aims (Eventually) for America...”


  • avatar
    whynot

    “Lynk & Co will launch in Berlin on October 20, Lundin claims. We’re not sure if there’ll be a deejay or if it’s an acoustic event. Bring your toque.”

    It is Berlin, so it will be a techno event.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Someone old produced the homepage video, as teen Millennial skateboard dudes don’t get up at 6:00AM.

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    Because it worked so well for Scion…

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      The Scion plan actually worked. You can’t sell an old man’s car to the young, but you can sell a young man’s car to the old, and the latter part worked beautifully. They needed to just keep it up, but all those old people in the showrooms freaked them out.

      Most of the young just get hand me downs or buy used, so there’s nothing wrong with aiming the advertising for the kids while selling to the clientele that has the money to buy new cars. All it takes is a wink and a nod as to what you’re really doing, and then take it to the bank.

      Bottom line, LET the older customer think he’s buying a young person’s car, and stop worrying that the young who don’t have the money to buy new cars aren’t showing up. There’s nothing more pathetic than falling for your own sales gimmick.

      • 0 avatar
        Johnster

        Smart has a campaign that is disturbingly Scion-like, too.

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        Wow, that is some serious rationalization going on there! Toyota fans will say anything to make it seem their marque can do no wrong.

        Once the few thousand people who really, really wanted a JDM car of some kind got theirs, what else were they going to do? I’d really love to see the marketing studies on Scion…

        Marketing Exec: “Hey guys! Good news. There’s about 15,000 people in the US who want a JDM car. Once we sell to all of them, then… (crickets chirping)”

        Sales Exec: “Yes!!! This is an excellent plan. What shall we call this? Edsel? Titanic? Nixon?”

        Marketing Exec: We’ve clinc-ed this and the name we came up with is… Scion.”

        Sales Exec: “That’s great! It sounds like Science and… Iron! Sciron! Is there a way we can include a number in the name and used mixed lower case and capital letters to make it even more kewl?”

        Barf.

  • avatar
    Fred

    Infinity had a nebulous campaign as well, before they had product.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      My uncle told me Ford did the same thing in the ’50s, with massive advertising for this mysterious new car to be revealed later. It turned out to be the Edsel.

  • avatar
    Demon Something

    Mind you, this is China. They haven’t got so jaded towards marketing like we have in the West…

    ..oh who am I kidding, that’s a god-awful name.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Already sounds stupid.

    China, unless you’re going to undercut everyone by 40% don’t bother. We don’t want the junk in your trunk. I doubt Europe does either.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      And take back all those iPhones, laptops and TVs!

    • 0 avatar
      tekdemon

      I dunno, if the quality of the product is good enough people will buy it. Geely had already been making somewhat reasonably decent vehicles even by themselves and this is the culmination of Volvo and them collaborating on a new car so it might very well actually be pretty decent. Look at cars like the Geely Boyue, they’re already very surprisingly nice which is why Geely is seeing sales growth even though the Chinese car market is cooling down.

      I was recently in China and was actually pretty surprised that even the janky knockoff vehicles that try to clone BMWs and whatnot were now actually pretty driveable and had decent ride quality and build quality, because we got to see quite a few of these when calling Uber/Didi.

      I think if they can really merge Volvo’s tech with somewhat more practical reliability and cost conscious production then they might well have a strong competitor. It’s probably not going to be competing with Civic sales anytime soon but it could be a real threat to weaker car companies.

      • 0 avatar

        It has been observed that if you watch the quality control yourself, China will build anything you like to spec. If you fax an order over, and wait to see what comes in the containers, you may be surprised.

        The current car model and price structure isn’t loved by most of us, and if someone came in with a significantly cheaper car aimed at basic mobility, the proverbial $5,000 90’s accord with bluetooth, they’d sell. Now, the legacy car makers can’t make that and turn a profit-maybe this company can ?

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      Its not the China part that concerns me, its the Volvo bit. Outside a few Europe-only models they’ve never been that great at building cheap cars.

  • avatar
    darex

    Etiology of a company name, à la Chinese:

    Lynk & Co. <- Rink & Co <- Rincoln Co <- Lincoln Co.

    • 0 avatar
      Jagboi

      Friend of mine has brought in a number of cars from Japan and sends me the interesting auction listings. One listing was a picture of a Town Car and the make was listed as Rinkin.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    I hate being lumped in with the kind of people who enjoy this sh*t.

    I like heavy metal and old computers and muscle cars and sh*t! I’m not some artisinal organic Whole Foods douche-canoe!

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      You like old computers?

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        I do!

        I hate thin, flimsy, glossy and letterbox screened modern sh*t! But muscle cars remind me too much of the Vietnam era.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        I do. I own several.

        A Macintosh Perfoma 630, a PowerBook 180, a Power Macintosh G3 (the blue and white one with the funky case), a Packard Bell, and a generic Pentium III beige box.

        I wish laptops like the PowerBook existed today. It’s bulky and awkward but it’s SOLID, just like the ThinkPads of yore. Now everything is paper-thin and effectively irreparable and I hate it.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          I still miss the “real keyboards” and “IBM grade” construction that used to constitute Thinkpads. But man, how that love vanishes once I hit compile, recalc or solve for. Old school, “weapons grade” (of the heavy blunt kind) cell phones were solid as well, but I still prefer the dainty IPhone….

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            I just want something that’s halfway to a toughbook.

            Not quite War on Terror grade, but tough enough that I won’t have a panic attack if I drop it.

    • 0 avatar
      Compaq Deskpro

      http://www.biggerbids.com/members/images/20150/public/1886069_Picture.jpg

      I’ve taken stacks of these, mostly busted, and broke them down to parts for scrap. These are hilariously complicated to dissassemble, yet somehow elegant at the same time, like a mechanical watch. The sheer number of different screws, with different heads, lengths, finish, some are threaded…

      Once the aluminum unibody days started, all Mac laptops had everything under a single bottom panel, but they lsot some character for sure.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    The idea of a “value Volvo” is a bit concerning, I get 850 hallucinations just thinking about it. Maybe the “Lynk” wont have a CEL though, it’ll be a good way to save money on lights!

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    All the millennial marketing in the world comes crashing to Earth when the cars land in a good old-fashioned auto-mobile car dealership.

  • avatar
    FuzzyPlushroom

    Hey, my first car was a Volvo 240, and that sold me on odd Swedish vehicles (provided Geely keeps letting Volvo be Volvo).

    ‘Course, the 240 in question was older than I was… no new car purchase there.


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