BERLIN Oct 20 Chinese automaker Geely will
unveil the first model in its new global car brand, Lynk & Co,
on Thursday, a compact SUV that it hopes will appeal to urban
customers due to a feature that enables owners to rent it out to
others when not in use.
The brand is part of Geely's efforts to broaden its appeal
by tackling the middle market. It will be rolled out across
China from next year and will go on sale in Europe and the
United States in 2018.
The SUV model, called '01', will be the first vehicle based
on the Complex Modular Architecture (CMA) platform developed by
Geely and Volvo, which Geely acquired six years ago.
The carmaker is targeting tech-savvy drivers. Registered
owners will be able to rent out their car to others using the
Lynk & Co app and a shareable digital key, said Alain Visser, a
senior vice president at Lynk & Co.
"The new model for car ownership and the smart comfort that
modern tech communication offers is designed to fill a
much-needed gap in today's car industry," Visser said in a
China's economic growth is at its slowest in a quarter of a
century, but Geely, under Chairman Li Shufu, beat the industry
growth rate last year and has turned around Volvo's fortunes.
The aim is for Lynk & Co-brand cars to compete with Chinese
foreign venture brands, such as those produced jointly by
General Motors and SAIC Motor Corp, people
familiar with the matter have told Reuters.
Geely said the car, to be presented at a special event in
Berlin, will be priced competitively and have a fixed pricing
model for all markets with Lynk & Co controlling both customer
relations and the distribution channels. It did not give a
specific price however.
(Reporting by Caroline Copley; Additional reporting by Jake
Spring in Beijing; Editing by Adrian Croft)