Geely Auto Group has launched LYNK & CO, a new global car brand with the ambition to challenge the conventions of the automobile industry
Designed and engineered in Sweden and born digital, LYNK & CO introduces a new business model, an open API, personalised services, sharing possibilities and the first dedicated app store for cars. In keeping with the Swedish mantra of ‘the product speaks for itself’, the first car in the range has simply been named 01.
Alain Visser, Senior Vice President of LYNK & CO commented: “Our industry has been refining design and engineering successfully for decades – but not so much the distribution and ownership model. Our customers’ values and preferences have evolved dramatically. It is time for us to step into the future and reinvent the model to become a comprehensive solution for mobility and lifestyle. This is LYNK & CO – introducing a premium, state-of-the-art range of cars – at the most accessible of price points, challenging and redesigning every link in the chain. Our aim is to enrich and simplify car ownership by redefining how they are bought, owned, connected, serviced and used.”
The LYNK & CO 01 will be followed by 02, 03 and so forth as a full range – reflecting the brand’s idea of simplifying and challenging industry conventions, right down to model names.
The 01 is characterised by a strong personality in its design, capturing both its European and Chinese genes, and the latest technology – the heart of which is an ‘always connected’ state, and open application programming interface (API).= The LYNK & CO brand and the 01 have been developed to address the needs and preferences of the new global and connected generation of consumers. Its natural habitat is the mega-city and these frantic and culturally diverse places have provided much inspiration.
“The design brief for LYNK & CO was simple: the cars should stand out from the crowd and appeal to a truly global audience. From a distance, we have a European design approach. Get closer, and you see more and more detail, such as the intricate lights, and the type of grain on the interior leather. A strong wide grille completes the distinctive ‘face’ of the car. We wanted to acknowledge that our users are extremely tech-savvy – a smartphone is an integral part of their lives and our interior design reflects that and feels familiar in the context of new technology” said Andreas Nilsson, Head of LYNK & CO design
The engineering and technology for the new range is developed under CEVT (China Euro Vehicle Technology), the shared Geely and Volvo research and innovation centre.
The new LYNK & CO 01, and each of the forthcoming line-up of LYNK & CO cars will be based on the CMA (Compact Modular Architecture) – an advanced modular architecture capable of accommodating many body styles and sizes – which also underpins Volvo’s new compact car range and many upcoming Geely models.
As well as its dimensions, CMA is also wholly modular, able to accommodate a wide range of different powertrains, electrical systems, passive and active safety systems and technologies. Thanks to CEVT’s focus on digital simulation, the architecture has been developed with advanced quality and far quicker than conventional automotive structures.
The core and heart of the LYNK & CO brand is connectivity. Customers will find a range of connected technologies on offer in the vehicles, all aimed at making life easier. All cars will come with a large central touchscreen and telematics systems that are always connected to the internet and the car’s own cloud.
The car has a share button, enabling the owner to provide others with access to the vehicle via a shareable digital key. Via the LYNK & CO app they control, monitor and share their car from a smartphone – or directly from the car.
“While other car brands are undergoing a digital transformation, LYNK & CO is born digital. The lack of legacy systems and the ability to build solutions in the cloud enable us to depart from the old model of car sales and service to bring the customer seamlessly through an omnichannel platform, with intuitive interaction at every touchpoint – from researching and purchase and all the way through to owning, sharing, servicing and re-selling.” David Green, Chief Digital Officer of LYNK & CO
LYNK & CO sets out from the start to be open to outside innovation and aims to be the first organisation in the world to leverage a complete commercial platform, to bring innovative applications and services to the customer. LYNK & CO collaborates closely with Microsoft and Alibaba to build a whole new digital customer infrastructure for the car industry, with new digital order, supply, sales and CRM systems and custom applications for user interaction. Ericsson and LYNK & CO have teamed up to create the latest car connectivity cloud. The digital platform will feature an API open to third-party developers, which will provide endless opportunities to personalise, enrich and expand the experience.
Renowned Swedish safety
The new LYNK & CO 01 and all future models will perform at the cutting edge of the sector in terms of vehicle safety. A very experienced safety team, drawing on expertise and legacy from the Volvo Safety Centre, has developed CMA, the vehicle structure and safety systems.
Using a highly advanced front structure, featuring compact engines and a three-legged support arrangement, the amount of crash energy absorbed in a controlled way through the side beams and crash structures is maximised. All LYNK & CO models are developed to meet the latest top rating for China, European and US public domain safety ratings.
As well as all its passive safety features, the LYNK & CO 01 will feature Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Autonomous Emergency Brake (AEB), Pedestrian Detection with automatic emergency braking, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Blind Spot Detection (BSD) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) to name just some of its active safety systems.
Powertrains – electrification for all
The LYNK & CO range, beginning with the LYNK & CO 01 will be available with a range of ultra-efficient powertrains.
The engines will allow for fuel economy figures and performance among the best in their class. Helping to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions further is a state-of-the-art seven-speed double clutch transmission (DCT) developed by CEVT, which will be available across the line-up, alongside a manual gearbox. All models will offer electrified powertrains.
Premium driving experience
Developed by highly experienced expert engineering teams both in Europe and China, the LYNK & CO 01 has been optimised to suit global tastes with benchmarks set against the premium and popular compact SUVs of the world. CMA is extremely stiff and the body has been designed from the ground up to minimise noise and vibration levels in the cabin.
A new business model
While the industry traditionally relies heavily on a dealership model, LYNK & CO will interact directly with its customers. LYNK & CO cars will be sold online or in owned stores in strategic retail locations, with fixed and transparent prices. Cars will be delivered, and picked up for service, directly at the door of the consumer. New solutions for car usage and access will be offered – from traditional ownership
and leasing to subscription and sharing membership.
With traditional distribution costs typically in the region of 25 percent of the price of a car, LYNK & CO’s efficient business model will deliver significant savings, reflected in highly competitive pricing.
LYNK & CO has abandoned the traditional concept of meagre base models and long option lists that create infinite build configurations and costs in manufacturing. Inspired by the fashion and technology sectors, LYNK & CO has replaced “trim levels and option lists” with a simple selection of fully equipped, fixed-price collections themed to meet customer preferences.
LYNK & CO is designed and engineered in Sweden for the global market. It will go on sale in China in 2017, followed by Europe and the U.S.