China’s Geely Auto Group is making noise about its new car company, called LYNK & CO, which will launch in their home market in 2017, followed by the European and U.S. markets.
The first model introduced is an SUV called the 01. Not a catchy name by any means, but it blends well with the company’s goal to simplify the automotive industry for the consumer. Future models will be aptly named 02, 03 and so forth.
What exactly do they mean by simplifying the industry? People will be able to buy or lease a 01, or just borrow from existing owners through a built-in car-sharing system. Each LYNK & CO vehicle will be fully connected with the help of companies such as Ericsson, Alibaba and Microsoft.
The new brand has set up shop in Sweden, where their vehicles will be designed, engineered and built with the help of Volvo, which is part of the Geely Auto Group. The 01 is based on the Compact Modular Architecture that will underpin Volvo’s upcoming 40 Series models, and will feature a yet-unannounced hybrid powertrain.
LYNK & CO says the 01 won’t offer “trim levels,” but “collections” with a full list of features and a fixed price. Since every vehicle will be connected, owners can simply book an appointment online, and the company will pick up the vehicle for servicing and maintenance, leaving a replacement vehicle behind while the work is done.
Through mobile applications, owners can rent out their vehicle when they’re not using it, and can even get shopping or dry cleaning delivered inside the car, wherever it is, and wherever the owner is. A Concierge service will help 01 owners—er, users book a reservation at a restaurant or look something up. In addition, the vehicle’s software package is built around an open API, and the company is inviting developers to collaborate with their own ideas and creativity.
According to the brand’s website, the LYNK & CO 01 will be equipped with a digital dashboard, voice-activated controls, a ten-inch touchscreen, a panoramic sunroof, semi-autonomous park assist, a power tailgate and even an air-quality system that can shut off cabin ventilation if it detects pollution. Of course, safety features such as a blind spot monitor, autonomous emergency braking and adaptive cruise control will be included as well.
For a vehicle that targets a crowd that would use it as a simple mobile device, the 01 is nonetheless a stylish SUV. And yet it shares no design cues with Volvo, at least from the outside.
We don’t know yet if LYNK & CO will set up shop in Canada, but once we get that information, we’ll let you know.