Lynk & Co. owner Geely Automotive is eyeing rather or not the new Administration in the White House will issue a border tax on imported vehicles from other countries. The Chinese automaker previously announced plans to import its products from China, starting with the 01 compact crossover.
Lynk & Co. revealed the 01 crossover last October at an event in Berlin. The brand intends to launch in both the U.S. and Europe in 2019 with the first sales occurring in San Fransisco and Berlin. The company is planning direct sales, similar to Tesla Motors, versus using the traditional franchised dealership model. Lynk & Co. does say it plans to utilize dealerships for service work, just not for vehicle sales. Lynk & Co. ultimately plans to be in over 100 U.S. cities.
However, President Donald Trump’s rhetoric regarding a potential border tax on imported products has Geely worried about the launch of Lynk & Co. in the U.S. In speaking with Reuters, senior vice president Alain Visser called the potential tariff a risk.
“That’s an open question but we’re going to offer employment in the U.S. so we believe there’s a positive business case to let us in,” Visser said.
Of course at this time there is no regulatory framework in place for a tariff associated with vehicles imported from China. It’s not clear if Geely will change its plans to launch in the U.S. if the current U.S. government does in fact impose some form of tariff on imports.
Geely plans to have Lynk & Co. hit the middle of the auto market as sister brand Volvo hits the premium market. The Lynk & Co. 01 would likely compete with similar products from Toyota, Honda and other mainstream brands.
Regardless of what happens with the U.S. launch, Geely will be launching Lynk & Co. in China by opening 170 stores by the end of 2017.