Lynk & Co 01 and Volvo XC40: the success of the ‘Geely SUV’ in the Netherlands

complement each other well

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Lynk & Co 01

The plug-in hybrid Lynk & Co 01 cannot be towed in the Netherlands. Over the first two months of this year, the car is even in first place, while platform companion Volvo XC40 is also in the top 5. Where does the success of these SUVs from the Geely stable come from?

In the beginning, the Lynk & Co 01 was a typical car that raised eyebrows among bystanders, and that is not surprising. The brand name is special and unknown, the design quite striking and ‘European’. However, we now assume that everyone who has something to do with cars knows what a Lynk & Co is. After all, we see the cars everywhere, alternating in blue and black, which are the only two color options for this SUV.

Since the introduction of the Lynk & Co 01 in 2021, 11,037 units have been sold in the Netherlands, at least up to and including February. Instead of ‘sold’, however, it might be better to speak of ‘registered’ here, because selling cars is certainly not Lynk & Co’s primary goal. This brand was put on the market with a somewhat different strategy and mainly sells cars through a subscription form. For €550 per month you can drive a very complete, plug-in hybrid SUV. The subscription can also be canceled monthly, which makes the Lynk & Co attractive as a temporary solution, for example as a bridge. The monthly amount can also be reduced by ‘loaning’ the 01, as Lynk & Co calls renting it out to others. There are also disadvantages, for example the maximum annual mileage of 15,000. More is allowed, but costs a lot extra.

Price and clarity

A large part of the Lynk & Co success is undoubtedly due to those attractive rates, in combination with a very simple and clear delivery program. That monthly rate is fixed, ordering is easy online and the variation in cars is extremely limited. Apart from the two colors mentioned, there is only a choice for (or against) a towbar, everything else is standard. This means that Lynk & Co can build up stock very easily and can therefore deliver quickly. Anyone who buys a 01 simply gets an attractive price. For a nice round amount of €45,000 the car is at the door, ‘no strings attached’.

A test has also shown that the Lynk & Co 01 simply works well. Not surprising, because under the skin it is largely the same as the Volvo XC40. Both brands are owned by China’s Geely and both cars are based on Volvo’s CMA platform. According to the brand itself, the Lynk & Co was also developed in Sweden. Compared to the XC40, the 01 has become even more unique. The Lynk & Co is always a plug-in hybrid, while the Volvo XC40 is no longer available as such. Volvo offers its smallest SUV only as a mild hybrid and EV, with which the XC40 and the 01 complement each other more than ever. The XC40 is also an absolute success story for the Netherlands. In the first half of 2021, the car was even number 1, still at number 2 over that entire year.

XC40 and C40

The success of the Volvo XC40 should not surprise anyone either. Volvos have always done well in the Netherlands due to their modest, yet distinguished appearance, and the XC40 fits perfectly with the average Dutch buyer due to its SUV body and relatively affordable price. The wide range of powertrains, from a modest three-cylinder petrol engine to a thick plug-in and a thick 400 hp EV, is also almost a guarantee for success in our country. In comparative tests, the compact Volvo also often comes out favorably in terms of price, especially in electric form. There is clearly more to choose from at Volvo than at Lynk & Co and the prices are also higher, but the delivery range is still very transparent and well-arranged here too. Unlike BMW, Audi and Mercedes, you will not easily see the base price rise by 20,000 euros here.

Since two years there is a third offshoot of this SUV family, the Volvo C40. That is in fact a Volvo XC40 with a sloping roofline and therefore a car that is especially attractive for those who now find an XC40 a bit too commonplace. This somewhat more limited target group is only served with a fully electric car, which explains why the C40 with 855 copies in 2022 is much less popular than its brothers. This year, the C40 is currently in 64th place, between the Kia EV6 and the BMW 3 series. If we add the 299 copies sold up to and including February to the 1,329 registered XC40s, the sister models come together to 1,638 copies. That would be enough for a second place, behind – you guessed it – the Lynk & Co 01. Did we mention that these cars are very popular in the Netherlands?

The future

The Volvo XC40 was presented in September 2017 and has therefore been around for a while. We have only known the Lynk & Co 01 here since 2020, but it is basically the same age as its platform companion. A facelifted version of the 01 has already been presented in home country China, but that facelift does not yet apply to the European PHEV. There is even talk of a (fully electric) successor to the Lynk & Co. That car should arrive in 2024, while Lynk & Co also wants to expand the range with the Lynk & Co 08.

With the Volvo XC40, it is still remarkably quiet around a possible successor. Volvo seems to be very busy with the current model, which was given a facelift not too long ago with the nose of the C40. The electric versions are also being tinkered with almost continuously, which went from front to rear-wheel drive and gained a lot of range due to reduced consumption.


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