Lynk & Co – Volvo owner Geely’s new car brand – is aiming at 500 retails shops in Europe to meet demand for its ‘connected’ cars.
It was just last week that the Lynk & Co 01 was revealed as the first car from the new brand launched by Geely to offer a fully ‘connected’ car with innovative ‘sales’ plans to get younger buyers mobile.
But despite Geely focussing on the Lynk & Co’s connectivity and sales models as the innovative bit, we’re not so sure.
Yes, the new Lynk & Co 01 is well connected, but we don’t see it as particularly more connected than any other car in its sector being planned for the next few years.
Equally, there are some interesting ideas about paying for a Lynk & Co car just like you would a mobile phone contract. But really, the under 30s already treat cars like this, signing up for a monthly payment for a couple of years and then dumping for a new model.
Geely are making some mileage about sharing the car you have with others, but that seems just a bit of tinkering at the edges, with lots of hurdles along the way, not least insurance issues.
But where we see Geely changing the industry with Lynk and Co is in the sales model.
Instead of using traditional franchise dealers, Geely are planning to open 500 retail, mall and pop-up shops across Europe – and more worldwide – selling an evolving range of fixed specification cars, where buyers can complete a deal on a new car, or go on line away from the shop and do it all there.
That, in one fell swoop, consigns the traditional franchise dealer to the history bin.
As for service needs, Geely plan to use Volvo dealers to do that for now, but also say they plan to use independent dealers for service and repair too.
It may take a while, but the biggest revolution Geely will instigate with Lynk & Co, if they come anywhere close to their target of 500,000 sales a year by 2022, is changing the way we interact with car makers, not the way we interact with our cars.