Swedespeed

For the Volvo Enthusiast

After launching in China, Lynk & Co. look to North America

 

America has been exporting cars to China for decades now, but not many Chinese cars ever make their way to American shores. That might be changing soon, however. Lynk & Co might be the first Chinese marque to manufacture cars in America for sale on the US market.

Part of the reason we haven’t seen many Chinese imports in the states has to do with quality issues that affect many Chinese models. But initial offerings from the Geely-owned automaker appear to have the right stuff to compete with the big three and other US market leaders.

Carolina-bound

At the top of Geely’s list of locations for a manufacturing facility in the USA is South Carolina. Already home to production facilities for BMW, Geely recently opened a plant for their more commonly known car brand, Volvo, in the state. Having the two plants close together is just good logistics.

The Lynk & Co brand would allegedly be more youth-focused than Volvo. The company already has a millennial-friendly anti-authority message. In the future, Geely says that Lynk cars could be developed out of both Volvo and home-market Geely platforms.

European Flair

This is a bold move if a predictable one from the holdings company that recently led Volvo on a remarkable turnaround. With the revamped Scandinavian marque set to rake in record profits in 2018, Geely appears to have borrowed a few design cues from the safety-first Swedes.

That is not to say that Lync and Co vehicles resemble Volvos. There is no outward resemblance, but like Volvos, they use upmarket materials and feature avant-garde design. Their first US-market offering, the 01, is an SUV that feels like it could compete with European volume producers like Renault and Volkswagen.

Exterior styling is more akin to something from the Kia/Hyundai twins in our opinion, but it is fresh and modern, and the 01 delivers what people are looking for inside. There’s a hearty infotainment system complete with 10.2-inch touch screen, a panoramic moonroof, internet connectivity and soft-touch plastics on most surfaces.

Forget about giving up jobs to China, they’re building cars on US soil. This is great news for anyone looking for employment, especially local veterans looking to find jobs in the transportation and manufacturing fields. Ford, GM, Chrysler, you’ve on notice.

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