Geely’s Lynk & Co brand has claimed the title of the ‘world’s fastest growing car manufacturer’ after 120,414 sales in its parent company’s home market in its first year on sale.
The brand, which has a European base in Gothenburg alongside sister company Volvo, achieved the success from a new sales model which, it claims, “abandoned the traditional automotive concept of base models, entry points and endless options lists”.
Ahead of its arrival in Europe in 2020, Lynk & Co also claims to have “made the traditional showroom experience redundant” by leading its retail proposition with an online offering linked to unique retail stores that offer visitors open surroundings that include a café-bar, cinema and children’s play area.
In the space of three years the subscription service-based brand has gone from being an idea from Gothenburg, Sweden, to becoming the world’s fastest-growing brand, wrapping up 2018 with 221 retail shops opened in China, it said in a statement.
International chief executive, Alain Visser, said: “Three years ago Lynk & Co started off as just an idea founded on principles unheard of within the industry.
“These sales numbers for a totally new brand are exceptional and proof that the focus on a simple experience from start to finish for young urbanites is working.
“Today we are seeing step-by-step that our mobility offering is truly disrupting the car industry from within.
“We are proud at the speed of our growth so far and excited by our launch into Europe, the journey is well under way. So continue to expect the unexpected as we are picking up the speed.”
Lynk & Co’s first European stores are set to open in 2020 in Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Stockholm, London and Barcelona.
Described as a ‘smartphone on wheels’ the SUV-led model offensive will deliver vehicles powered by either traditional hybrid, plug-in hybrid or EV drivetrains.
All models feature a large central touchscreen and telematics systems – always connected to the internet and the car’s own cloud.
Speaking to AM in March last year, Volvo Car UK customer services director, Kevin Meeks, was unable to comment on whether the Volvo dealer network would help facilitate aftersales services for the new brand.
In this month’s edition of AM Magazine Frost and Sullivan partner and board member Sarwant Singh suggested Lynk & Co was among brand’s that would typify new entrants to the UK automotive sector in the years to come – forgoing the traditional franchised network model.
"I don’t foresee a time when another car manufacturer will enter the UK with a desire to establish traditional franchisee relationships or any significant physical presence,” he said.
Geely’s Polestar and Lynk & Co brands, along with fellow new market entrant, Byton, all have one thing in common – none intends to establish a franchised retail network of any scale.
“I foresee brands coming and perhaps having a presence in five or six cities across the UK and that will be it, like the model set to be adopted by Polestar,” Singh told AM.
“Chinese automotive manufacturers who have, in the past, put one or two products into Asia or Latin America are now looking to Europe and, with some very high-end electric vehicles (EVs), are keen to claim a share of the market.
“It looks like their first stop will be the UK, as it is seen as a slightly easier, softer entry than the more shark-like territory that is Germany.
“But key to any luxury brand entering the market now has to be a very attractive lease or rental model first and foremost.”