Lynk & CO plans to enter Norway, Austria, Switzerland and the United Kingdom and expand into markets including France.
Lynk & CO, an automaker jointly owned by China’s Geely and Volvo, plans to open its first showroom in France by early 2024 and expand to Europe, including the UK, the CEO and founder said his for Reuters.
The automaker, which sells and rents cars on a monthly basis, already has what it calls clubs, which look like bars or lifestyle stores, in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Spain and Italy.
Lynk & CO, which only offers a Chinese-made plug-in hybrid SUV called the 01 in black and blue, will launch an all-electric model, the 02, by the end of 2024, Alain Visser said in an interview.
“We have plans to enter other European markets in the near term: Norway, Austria, Switzerland and the United Kingdom,” said Visser, who worked for General Motors, Ford and Volvo before Lynk & CO.
Visser said the brand had “ambitions” to branch out into the US market at some point.
Although small, Lynk & CO’s expansion plans are the latest example of Geely looking to grow its foothold in Europe as the appeal of Chinese cars, particularly electric vehicles, grows.
The Chinese giant, which controls Volvo and last week increased its stake in Britain’s Aston Martin to 17%, in January detailed plans to develop its Zeekr and London Electric Vehicle brands in Europe.
It is also a partner in a new propulsion company set up with Renault.
In 2022, Chinese-made electric vehicles already had a 9% market share in Europe, almost double the previous year, according to consultancy Inovev, and the pace is increasing.
Lynk & CO says it had 200,000 monthly members in Europe by April, of which about 25,000 are in France, up from 180,000 and 21,000 respectively a month earlier.
In France, where the automaker plans to open its first sales space in Paris in late 2023 or early 2024, it offers a monthly subscription rate of 550 euros, with a full purchase price of 44,500 euros in the premium segment, higher than MG Motor owned by SAIC.
The French government, lobbying to attract gigafactories and foreign car factories, plans to make available a €5,000 subsidy to buyers of electric cars, conditional on meeting low-carbon standards when they are manufactured – which it says would it actually excludes cars that are not manufactured. in Europe.
Visser said Lynk & CO should consider manufacturing cars in Europe, given the growing tensions between China and the US.
“It’s becoming more and more necessary to have local production sites … instead of importing cars from China.”
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