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

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
chinas 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.

  • Jim Bonham Full EVs are not for everyone, they cannot meet all needs. Hybrids do a much better job of providing the benefits of EVs without most of the drawbacks. I have a hybrid sedan with plenty of room, plus all the bells and whistles. It has 360 hp, AWD, does 0-60 in just over 5 sec.(the instant torque is a real benefit), and I get 29 mpg, average. NOT driven lightly. I bought it used for $25k.Sure, it's a little heavier because of the battery, motor, etc., but not nearly as much as a full EV. The battery is smaller/lighter/cheaper and both the alternator and starter motor are eliminated since the motor assumes those functions. It's cool to watch the charge guage show I'm getting energy back when coasting and/or braking. It's even cooler to drive around part of the time on battery only. It really comes in handy in traffic since the engine turns off and you don't waste fuel idling. With the adaptive cruise control you just let the car slowly inch along by itself.I only wish it were a Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV). Then, I'd have A LOT more EV-only range, along with even more of that instant torque. The battery would be bigger, but still a fraction of the size of a full EV. I could easily go weeks without using much, if any gas (depending upon my commute) IF I plug it in every night. But I don't have to. The gas engine will charge the battery whenever it's needed.It's just not as efficient a way to do it.Electric companies offer special rates for both EVs and PHEVs which lower your operating cost compared to gasoline. They'll even give you a rebate to offset the cost of installing a home charger. You can still get federal (up to $7,500, plus some state) tax credits for PHEVs.What's not to like? My next daily driver will be a PHEV of some kind. Probably a performance-oriented one like the new Dodge Hornet or one of the German Hybrid SUVs. All the benefits, sound, feel, etc., of a gas vehicle along with some electric assist to improve fuel economy, performance, and drivability. None of the inherent EV issues of cost, range anxiety, long charging times, poor charger availability, grid capacity issues, etc. I think most people will eventually catch on to this and go PHEV instead of going full EV. Synthetic, carbon-neutral eFuels, hydrogen engines, and other things will also prevent full EVs from being 100% of the fleet, regardless of what the politicians say. PHEVs can be as "clean" (overall) as full EVs with the right fuels. They're also cheaper, and far more practical, for most people. They can do it all, EVs can't.
  • Ron rufo there is in WaSHINGTON STATE
  • ToolGuy @Chris, your photography rocks.
  • ToolGuy No War for Oli.If you have not ever held a piece of structural honeycomb (composite sandwich) in your own hands, try it.
  • ToolGuy You make them sound like criminals.
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