The boss of new car brand Lynk&Co says the company’s main competition are ride-sharing firms such as Uber rather than other car makers.
Lynk&Co, which is owned by China's Geely, will launch in Europe in 2019 targeting a young urban audience. It will do so by offering electrified cars through a subscription-based service and by combining online sales with city-based stores and pop-up shops as opposed to traditional dealerships.
Speaking at an event in Amsterdam to launch its European sales push and unveil the new 02 crossover, company boss Alain Visser said Lynk&Co’s target audience was “people who don’t want to own cars”, adding: “Plenty of people love cars, but don’t want to own one.”
Asked about meeting the challenge of selling cars to that audience, Visser told Autocar: “We’ve done so much research to see that this will work and that people will go for this model. All the information is that it’s a pretty resounding yes.
“We don’t see our competitors as Toyota, Volkswagen and Audi; we see them as the likes of Uber. We are going to be competitive for a millennial that takes an Uber every day to go into the city to work.
“Of course, if you ask our engineers they’ll say our competitors are Lexus and Audi, from a technology point of view. But from a brand point of view, it’s beyond the car industry.”
In a similar manner to Volvo’s electrified sub-brand Polestar, Lynk&Co will offer subscriptions ranging from one to 36 months at fixed costs. The subscriptions will run in cycles, with cars refettled and then offered again at a lower cost.
Subscribers will also be able to utilise an app-based sharing service. A button in their car will enable it to be ‘shared’ by other Lynk&Co subscribers (who will pay the main subscriber). Lynk&Co keys will feature technology that enables drivers to unlock shared cars.
Visser explained that, for instance, a subscriber could share their car when they're travelling, lowering their cost of ownership, and can also find Lynk&Co cars to drive while they're away.
Lynk&Co began sales in China last year, with the first cars due on European roads in 2020 and the US following sooner after. The firm aims to have rolled out its full portfolio of models in all markets by 2023.
Asked about sales targets, Visser said: “When we have global reach and a full portfolio, we plan to sell half a million cars per year. We anticipate half of that will be in China, with the other half split more or less evenly between Europe and the US.”