Never Heard of Lynk & Co.? Well, You’re About To
Chinese Company About To Shake Up Motorcycling?by Harry Fisher, on
Chinese-Swedish car maker Lynk & Co builds cars based on Volvos and sells them in a unique way. Now Lynk & Co has entered the motorcycle market, albeit with a thinly re-badged Benelli.
Lynk & Co Set To Shake Up Motorcycle Market
You could be forgiven for not having heard of Lynk & Co but the Chinese-Swedish company is already shaking up the automotive world and could be set to do the same in the motorcycling world.
Lynk & Co builds Volvo-based cars - the company is a joint venture between Volvo and parent company Geely, which also owns the Benelli motorcycle brand through its acquisition of a majority stake in Qianjiang in 2016 (Qianjiang has owned Benelli since 2005) - but the real difference is how they are sold.
There are no dealers: you deal directly with the manufacturer. You can buy a car outright with cash or finance, but the company’s main drive is a monthly subscription membership scheme.
In Europe for example, you pay 500 Euros per month for a Volvo-based Lynk 01: that covers the cost of the car, insurance, tax and servicing costs. There is a parallel scheme which allows you to rent someone else’s car when it is not in use.
What that means for the owner of the car is that they can hire out their car for around 40 Euros a day or an hourly rate, meaning that the cost of ’owning’ the car can be offset in part, in total, or you could even make money over and above the 500 Euros per month.
There is a rating system for those who want to rent and renters are sent a code to open and start the car, which must be returned to where it was picked up. It’s not a system that would work in every country in the world but it works well in Europe and there are plans to introduce it into the US.
So, what does all this have to do with motorbikes? Well, Lynk & Co has just revealed its first motorbike, a L&Co branded Benelli TNT600. There has been no confirmation as yet, but it could be that the motorbike will be able to be purchased under the same leasing system as the cars. As it stands, it can be bought directly from the factory as opposed to through a dealership.
Now, people tend to buy motorcycles because they are, to a greater or lesser extent, passionate about two-wheeled transport. Quite how. they would feel about letting someone else loose on their pride and joy is open to question. However, seeing as how motorbikes tend to spend a lot of their existence sitting unused in a garage, could the scheme be a useful way of affording a bike to be used on high days and holidays without costing the owner anything?
If Lynk & Co is successful in penetrating different markets around the world, expect all ’traditional’ manufacturers to look closely at the sales model.