Weekly News Review | 24 October 2016 | Automotive Purchasing and Supply Chain Automotive Purchasing and Supply Chain

Talking Point

Geely’s game changer

Chinese car brands have been trying to break into the Western market for some time now, flooding it with countless new brands that have struggled in extremely competitive regions. Yes, there have been a few success stories, with Great Wall Motors selling well across the globe but it is always difficult for any new brand to succeed in the global market. Vehicle launches should be taken with a pinch of salt, promising “revolutionary” features that “will change the automotive world,” before falling short - most of the time. In comparison to European and US brands, you can certainly appreciate China’s ambitions for future market presence through emerging brands like LeEco and now Lynk and Co. These companies are pursuing innovation through the connected car, which is taking over traditional personal transportation and focusing on mobility. “Not another new brand?” I hear you cry. Although this time it may be different as, through an innovative business structure, the latest addition to Geely’s portfolio is set to disrupt the automotive world.

Lynk and Co only came to my attention last week, whilst I sat at my desk staring perplexed at the teaser website; a montage of trendy bright sparks enjoying city life with one another… but no vehicles. Not one. Normally, this is the kind of thing that drives me insane in modern advertising, telling me absolutely nothing about the product. However, as I dug deeper into the brand, I started to find clues as to what this vehicle had to offer. I guessed that it would have to be a technology-driven, electric vehicle aimed at a younger audience, though there was little information to confirm these assumptions. I also believed that it had to be sharing a platform with Volvo, so a compact SUV was on the cards. Much to my amazement, I was correct for the most part, though my stubbornness lead me to miss the most important part: car sharing.

Lynk and Co wants to change the way people operate their vehicles, implementing a ‘share’ button within the model, called the 01, that allows drivers to rent out their cars to others in the area, which will eventually pay off the cost of the car. This is an outstanding innovation that I’m sure will prove to be a success in the future, as there is little need for anyone to own a car in this modern age. In addition, the 01 will only be available to order online, eliminating dealerships, that are costly for the seller and time-consuming for the buyer, by delivering the car straight to your door. Although, I think one of the most important factors is the 01’s ‘neutral’ identity, designed to attract a wider audience with a warm image. This will attract customers who do not really care about brands - or vehicles for that matter, those who truly do buy a vehicle to get from A to B. Partner this with Volvo-quality safety and advanced technology through partnerships with Alibaba, Ericsson and Microsoft, and I think Geely may be onto a winner.

Alex Kreetzer

Alex Kreetzer - News Editor

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