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Lynk&Co’s ‘shareable’ crossover is heading to Europe
In 2020, China’s ‘car you own like a smartphone’ will commence world domination
Listen up, Europeans. You might not have heard a lot about Lynk&Co, but in China, this start-up crossover-only car brand is a phenomenon. Its first offering became the fastest selling car ever in the world’s biggest economy.
Now, chances are you have heard of an iPhone, or a Samsung Galaxy, or any other smartphone that’s become essential to our Like-obsessed, hashtag-encrusted lives. Do you own yours? Chances are, no. The very device you’re reading these words on is paid for via a monthly direct debit that also includes some minutes, texts and data, right?
Lynk&Co wants to bring that thinking to cars. No more buying a vehicle – the Lynk&Co 02, unveiled this week, is a crossover you subscribe to. There’s no key – it’s unlocked with a smartphone app.
Want to lend the car to a family member or friend? Get the app to share the access code. Maybe you’re off on holiday and want your car to earn you some spending money? Lynk&Co says it could rent out your car to paying app users via the app too, much like AirBnB makes use of your empty dwelling at the same time.
The 02 itself is a reasonably interesting-looking crossover that’s shorter and lower than the 01 crossover we met last year. Underneath, it shares parts with Geely cars, in particular Volvo. The Swedes will make for interesting bedfellows with the Chinese upstart – Volvo already has a world-class range of SUVs and crossovers, it’s adding hybrid power across the family and forging the Polestar electric and hybrid offshoot, and with the XC40, it launched its own new subscription model of ownership, with all cars costs lumped into one (chunky) but easy to manage payment.
So, is this the future? Well, Lynk&Co will be invading Europe in 2020, with locally built cars and trendy dealership-cum-stores in Amsterdam, London, Barcelona and so on. So, remember the quirky name – with Geely’s backing, it might be sticking around for longer than most plucky start-ups.