Chinese automaker Geely has officially introduced its new brand, Lynk & Co.
The company, which also owns Volvo, says that Lynk & Co will focus on connectivity, launching with an open API, sharing services and the first dedicated app store for cars. To preview what Lynk & Co intends to bring to market, the brand just debuted a hybrid compact SUV called the 01, which is built on the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform, co-developed by Geely and Volvo.
Like Tesla, this new brand plans on selling directly to consumers, while having flagship stores around the world. Currently, the company plans on getting the first Lynk & Co vehicles to owners in China next year, before heading to the U.S. and European markets.
Lynk & Co also has a partnership with tech company Ericsson, and promises that its vehicles will not only offer Apple CarPlay, MirrorLink and Android Auto, but will have onboard telematics for a permanent connection with the world via the Lynk & Co cloud.
To give you an idea of what the company has in mind for its vehicles, nearly everything with a Lynk & Co car can be managed through a smartphone app. That includes providing digital keys to gives access to your friends and family. The entire user interface within the car will be customizable, such as rearranging icons and functions to fill your needs.
The vehicles will also be able to communicate with one another, sharing data like available parking spaces and the correct speed to travel in order to not hit a red light. The interior takes a cue from Tesla and Volvo by using a large, tablet-like screen to control the infotainment system. Different materials and textures are used inside, giving the interior a very Scandinavian feel.
Unfortunately, very few powertrain details for the SUV were released, but is said that the new brand will try to enter the U.S market in 2018.