China's Lynk & Co May Get Help From Volvo in Its Westward March

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
china s lynk co may get help from volvo in its westward march

Fresh-faced automotive brand Lynk & CO began selling its first vehicle in China about two months ago. But it has bigger aspirations than procuring a place in Asia’s largest market — it wants to achieve global domination through westerly expansion and is now preparing to take its first steps.

While the goal seems unrealistic for a fledgeling automaker producing only one model, the brand has friends in high places. Volvo Cars, which is also owned by Geely Automotive, may be tapped to assist Lynk in Europe by offering its factory in Belgium and opening up its servicing infrastructure. If so, that would set a precedent for a Volvo-based support network that could eventually extend to North America.

Since Lynk & Co’s upmarket SUV uses the same Compact Modular Architecture as Volvo’s XC40, chief executive Hakan Samuelsson said the Swedish company was seriously considering lending a helping hand. Having a European factory would give Lynk credibility on the global market, but it would also reinforce its image in China — a country with a consumer-base that strongly associates high-end automobiles with Western influence.

“If and when they decide to go global, to Europe, possibly the U.S., we can of course make that entry more credible,” Samuelsson told Bloomberg in an interview.

The Swedish company doesn’t really have much to gain by refusing to help. Volvo Cars owns a 30 percent stake in Lynk & Co, while Geely Automobile Holdings holds the majority share at 50 percent. The remaining shares are with Zhejiang Haoqing Automobile Manufacturing, a firm controlled by Zhejiang Geely. Volvo’s XC40 also already shares a production line with Lynk’s 01 SUV in China.

Regardless of where the models are built, Geely has already stated its intentions to start selling cars outside of China in 2019. The plan is to begin in Europe before moving on to North America. The obvious candidate for both regions are the $25,000 Lynk & Co compact sport utility vehicle.

As Geely explores the feasibility of building Lynk-branded vehicles in Europe, Volvo seems ready. “We would of course have interest [in] doing that,” Samuelsson said.

[Image: Lynk & Co]

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  • Syke Syke on Jan 25, 2018

    I still want to see them try to sell a car with that name on the hood. I should think Ford has a competent enough legal department to put a stop to that.

    • See 4 previous
    • Tekdemon Tekdemon on Jan 26, 2018

      They're already in court from what I understand, but in markets where Lincoln isn't sold it's probably a tougher argument.

  • Sgeffe I'm wondering if any tooling or whatnot from the original was used in the production of this beast.
  • Sgeffe I usually pass by the UCOTD posts, but I had to ask on this: what, pray tell, is with the sideview mirrors off a C5 Corvette??!! Yikes!
  • Joseph Kissel I foresee ICE and EV co-existing for many, many years. But to answer the OP, who's going to be the automaker that sinks considerable funding into a NEXT-GEN ICE engine and vehicle platform? Which would also mean diverting that research from a next-gen EV battery / platform. In that regard, is BMW doing the right thing by releasing ICE and EV on a shared platform? Because I can see automakers putting lightly re-freshed ICE vehicles on the market (and maybe that's all that's needed at this point) ... But will we truly ever see something next-gen on the ICE front?
  • Sgeffe It still boggles my pea brain that something that was pretty much standard on most cars two decades ago was left off of cars in the early teens! BUT if I understand things correctly, Canadian models had the immobilizers! (Along with heated steering wheels and other bits that would never be found on a car bound for, say, Minneapolis!)
  • CEastwood Yep this is the bolt screwers last chance at the big money before all their jobs become extinct to robots and outsourcing to low wage countries . Prediction - they will get some compromise between what they want and what real world economics dictate . Then the car companies will gradually move their operations to other countries or southern states without unions . They are hastening the loss of their jobs and don't seem to care or even be aware of it .