BERLIN -- Geely Automobile’s new global brand, Lynk & CO, will start sales of its first model, an SUV developed with Volvo Cars, in 2018 in Europe and the U.S. The launches will happen after the vehicle debuts in China late next year.
The upstart brand aims to target the middle of the market and keep a lid on vehicle prices while "redefining how cars are bought, owned, connected, serviced and used.”
The compact SUV will be called 01 and will be a hybrid powered by a 1.5-liter, three-cylinder gasoline engine and an electric motor. It will rival models such as the Nissan Qashqai and offer a manual transmission or a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Lynk plans to add a compact sedan and other models to its lineup. They will have numerical names including 02 and 03. It also plans to offer plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles.
The Lynk 01 is based on the Compact Modular Architecture platform developed by Geely and Volvo in Sweden. Volvo will use the platform to renew its 40 compact range previewed in May by the 40.1 and 40.2 concept cars. The 40.1 compact SUV will become the XC40 for production and is set to debut at the end of next year.
The Lynk lineup will be built in China and target the middle of the market while Volvo competes with luxury brands such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Lynk parent Geely Automobile and Volvo Cars are both owned by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group.
Lynk also will offer a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine. The 2.0-liter and 1.5-liter engines will be built in China under license from Volvo.