Lynk & Co postpones European sales to 2019 as Qoros abandons its plans
20 April 2017
Lynk & Co, the new brand launched by Volvo Cars parent Geely in October 2016 has delayed its European sales roll-out to 2019. The European launch was previously planned for 2018. And premium Chinese car brand Qoros has abandoned its European plans indefinitely.
The Lynk & Co brand planned for customers to be able to order cars online and have them delivered to their homes. At the time, Alain Visser, Lynk senior vice president, said in a statement: ‘Our aim is to simplify car ownership by redefining how cars are bought, owned, connected, serviced and used.’
There is still a focus on online sales but owner Geely is also eyeing a more physical presence and hence the delayed launch in Europe, with US market entry planned for later in 2019. Volvo’s network could handle servicing and parts but Lynk & Co also wants to establish 500 centres of its own in Europe and North America. Nevertheless, the plan is for these to be sales locations as opposed to traditional dealerships. Flagship and pop-up stores are expected in cities and, emulating a model adopted by Tesla, sales outlets will also be located in large shopping centres.
Lynk & Co has not changed its plans vis-à-vis car sharing and connectivity though. Buyers will have the opportunity to share their Lynk cars through an app and the cars will also feature free connectivity. Visser has commented that the company is ready to launch its ‘unique brand of connected mobility with a number of new models featuring the world's first digital in-car share button.’ At the Shanghai Auto Show, Lynk & Co presented a production version of its 01 SUV and also unveiled a concept version of its second model, a sedan simply named the 03. Visser added: ‘Because Lynk & Co will be the first brand to offer its owners the possibility to share their cars when they are not used, we are starting from cities with a high penetration of shared-economy services, so that means Berlin in Europe and San Francisco in the United States.’
Whereas Lynk & Co has delayed its launch in Europe, Chinese premium brand Qoros has cancelled its European plans. Despite showcasing its saloon and SUV models, named simply the 3 and 2 respectively, at the Geneva Motor Show both in 2013 and 2015, the brand’s European aspirations are at best on hold. ‘The exchange rate has killed that idea for the time being,’ Qoros’ head of design, Gert Hildebrand, told Auto Express magazine.
Photograph courtesy of Lynk & Co