According to a report in the Nikkei Asian Review, China’s Geely Automobile will launch its new Lynk & Co. brand in Shanghai this April in an effort to promote its subscription and car-sharing models to young Chinese drivers. Sales of its 01 compact SUV are expected to begin in China by the end of the year, followed by rollouts in Europe and the U.S. in the first quarter of 2019.
Initially unveiled in Berlin in October, Lynk & Co vehicles are based on technology from Volvo Cars and feature internet connectivity and vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems developed by Alibaba Group Holding, Ericsson and Microsoft.
According to media sources, Geely parent Zhejiang Geely Holding Group is also said to be negotiating a deal to buy a stake in Proton, the Malaysian automaker that owns British sports-car brand Lotus Cars.
Acquiring a controlling interest in Proton would provide Geely with an opportunity to expand in Southeast Asia and leverage underutilized plants that have an annual production capacity of between 400,000 and 600,000 vehicles.