Caixin
Mar 27, 2018 07:57 PM
BUSINESS & TECH

Geely to Launch First Made-in-Europe Chinese Car

A Lynk & Co. automobile, made by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. Ltd., is displayed at the 2017 Auto Shanghai auto show in April. Photo: VCG
A Lynk & Co. automobile, made by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. Ltd., is displayed at the 2017 Auto Shanghai auto show in April. Photo: VCG

Geely will use a plant in Belgium to make its Lynk & Co. vehicles, the first time a Chinese car will be produced in Europe.

The hybrid model, dubbed the Lynk 01 PHEV, is expected to be built in a Volvo factory in Ghent, Belgium, starting in 2019, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. Ltd. said on Monday.

Lynk is co-owned by Geely Holding Group and its units Geely Auto and Volvo Cars. Geely acquired Sweden’s Volvo in 2010, and launched the new Lynk & Co. brand in 2016 as part of its efforts to move into foreign markets.

“We see a big potential for this new brand entering the European market and we are happy to give Lynk & Co. the support of Volvo’s technological and industrial expertise,” Volvo Cars CEO Hakan Samuelsson said in a statement.

Lynk rolled out the first version of the 01 PHEV in November.

Lynk cars are currently produced only in a factory in Zhejiang in eastern China, and have sold a total of 6,012 units as end of the year.

The Lynk brand has also been part of Geely’s efforts to move up the value chain and shed the budget-quality image that consumers associate with Chinese car brands.

In China, domestic automakers have been playing catch-up with their foreign rivals in terms of quality and design, and overseas they still lack brand recognition.

Geely has set a sales target of 2 million units worldwide by 2020, which includes 500,000 Lynk vehicles, according to the company.

Geely’s entrance into the European market is also the latest of the automaker’s moves overseas.

Last month, Geely Holding Group Chairman Li Shufu acquired a 9.69% stake in Daimler AG, owner of the Mercedes-Benz brand, becoming the German company’s single-largest shareholder.

Contact reporter Mo Yelin (yelinmo@caixin.com)

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