Lynk & Co 01, the car to share between club members

When, after twenty-nine years of a successful career within the world’s largest automotive groups (Ford, General Motors, Opel), his last employer, Volvo, gives him carte blanche to launch a new project, Alain Visser flatly refuses : “The world does not need a new brand”, he said before stepping down as vice president of marketing, sales and customer service for the Swedish automaker.

We are in 2015, he is then 52 years old. The right time, he thinks, to turn the page and finally create the car concept he’s dreaming of. When we meet him six years later in Paris, he is the happy president of Lynk & Co, a subsidiary of the Chinese group Geely which bought Volvo Cars in 2010.

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8 models of hybrid and electric cars on the test bench

Sneakers on his feet and a warm smile, the almost sixty-year-old receives in a pretty landscaped courtyard in the 11th arrondissement of Paris. This is where its French customers can try or collect their 01 reserved on the internet. Available in black and midnight blue, the 01 is a rather stylish plug-in hybrid SUV.

Beautiful interior, sunroof, substantial trunk, neat finishes with recycled fabric seats and latest generation technology, this model, sold at the single price of 41,500 euros, is all the more attractive since it leaves the Belgian factory where it is designed its rich cousin, the Volvo XC40. Clearly, a safe bet at a competitive price. But that is not its main attraction.

Alain Visser

Its originality lies in the concept refined by Alain Visser, a mix between Airbnb, Netflix and leasing: by becoming a member of the Lynk & Co club for 500 euros per month (a monthly subscription revocable at any time), you not only take possession of ” a vehicle (1) with all its options, but also the services that go with it (insurance, repairs and maintenance via the Volvo network). Better, as it unlocks remotely, it is possible via an app to share its 01 with club members, whether they own a car or not, and thus reduce costs.

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Launched in October 2020, this subscription system has already attracted 30,000 people in Sweden, Italy, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and is rolling out in Paris, where Alain Visser hopes to open soon. “A friendly space with bar and coworking space in a place well known to Parisians” : “In France, we already have 3,000 members although we have not yet opened our club space”, rejoices, sure of himself, this polyglot born in Antwerp. Too optimistic?

The sequel after the advertisement

“This idea of ​​selling cars on subscription is not new, but they are doing it 100%, with the addition of this very nice idea of ​​a club”, acknowledges Arnaud Aymé, automotive specialist at Sia Partners… before pointing out that vehicle ownership is still largely the norm. “90% of people want to buy a car, replies Alain Visser. But all the others remain. Why not be the brand that targets the 10%? “

(1) Each year, 15,000 km per year or 1,250 km per month (0.15 c per km beyond) can be covered. Every eleven months, the vehicle can be replaced with a new one.

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