The ‘Co’ in Geely’s new car brand Lynk&Co doesn’t stand for company; it stands for connected. To that end, all of the brand’s models will feature ‘the world’s first in-car share button’.
How very millennial. But, wait, come back! The share button you’ll find in Lynk&Co's 02 isn’t actually about sticking selfies on social media; it’s a key part of the new firm’s subscription system.
While you will be able to buy a Lynk&Co car outright, the company’s primary sales route will be a subscription service – also used by sister firm Volvo’s sub-brand Polestar - that in effect offers short-term leasing for a minimal commitment. Think Netflix or Spotify for cars (yes, how very millennial).
The twist comes when subscribers press that share button. It makes their car available to other people – initially other Lynk&Co subscribers via an app. The company's keys will have the ability to unlock other Lynk&Co cars.
So why would you let a stranger walk up and drive your car? Simple: it’s good business. Here’s how Lynk&Co boss Alain Visser explains it: “If your subscription is, say, £400 a month, but you travel five days a month, you can share your car out for £20 a day, so your cost of ownership goes down.”
It’s less Spotify and more Airbnb, then (okay, but still quite millennial). Particularly if, as Lynk&Co is planning, the use of the app is expanded beyond subscribers to a wider network.
Peer-to-peer car-sharing services aren’t a new invention; there are growing app services and some companies are now offering it as an alternative to airport parking. But Lynk&Co is among the first car brands to place it at the centre of its ownership model. However, Visster admits that there are still lots of questions to answer; for example, would strangers walk onto your driveway and pick up your car?