Chinese car manufacturer to enter the European market
The Chinese car manufacturer Lynk & Co, which is partly owned by Volvo, has ambitious plans to make some of its cars in Europe from next year and sell these cars into the European and North American markets
Experts believe though their chances of success in the European market is slim at best.
Europe is dominated by the giant German car makers which will prove to be a huge obstacle for the Chinese car manufacturer and also, without a dealer network yet, it may be an uphill climb.
Volvo will host Lynk at the Volvo factory in Ghent, Belgium where the Chinese company plan to produce the 01 SUV. Production is planned to coincide with the production of the Volvo XC40 compact SUV with which it will share much engineering.
Lynk’s goal is to sell 500,000 cars annually, with half in China and 125,000 both in Europe and the U.S. starting from next year.
Most of the Chinese market volume will be produced there and it is speculated that Lynk will eventually make cars at Volvo’s new plant in Ridgeville, South Carolina.
Industry experts are saying that these numbers are just not viable, pointing to the difficulties more established companies like Infiniti and even Lexus in Europe have had trying to establish brands in the premium sector, where BMW, Audi and Mercedes dominate the market.
Industry consultants JATO sees an uphill struggle for Lynk, which nevertheless might be followed soon by other Chinese manufacturers.
Lynk are calling themselves the global connected and shareable mobility company. Their marketing plan will involve new methods of reaching the public using the internet and so-called pop-up showrooms in big urban centres with holograms of its vehicles.
They have not said as of yet if they plan to build up a dealership network to complement their new marketing methods, but given its close links with Volvo, that would seem to provide a ready-made network eventually.
Lynk said its first European store will open in Amsterdam, quickly followed by new locations in Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels and London.
“These ‘Offline Stores’ will be located in central fashion districts as easy-to-navigate, sociable and fun brand boutiques. They will also have an online store at Lynkco.com – the hub of the business in Europe, together with the ‘Offline Tour’ of pop-up stores that will visit many other European cities every week,”