Lynk & Co. starts selling an SUV with a dedicated car share button in China

Lynk & Co. aims to be a different kind of car brand, with a focus on a simplified buying experience and a focus on connected an app-powered mobility experiences, and it’s now officially selling its first vehicle via stores in China.

The 01 SUV is now available at around 150 dedicated brand stores and boutiques located across China. The 01 comes in four different options, which are meant to demystify the traditional trim and technology levels and options with a set menu of option at a clear price.

Lynk & Co’s first car went up for pre-sale on November 17, and resulted in 6,000 preorders in 137 seconds, according to the company – selling out its whole allotment for a sales event that was intended to span three days. That’s probably at least partially staged scarcity for the purposes of a marketing ploy, but now that it’s fully on sale at volume in the country we should get a better sense of how many people are looking for a car that’s sold more like a smartphone or a service in many ways than a vehicle.

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One of the Lynk & Co 01’s most interesting features isn’t in its pricing options, however, but it its focus on making shareabilty and variety of ownership a core part of the product. The 01 can either be purchased outright, or subscribed to on a far less permanent basis. It also features a dedicated in-car share button that allows you to physically trigger a shareable digital key that you can offer up to others to let them borrow the vehicle and potentially use it as a revenue generator.

The car also features large, central touchscreen in-vehicle displays with a range of connectivity options and services, and overall seems intended to appeal to a generation of potential customers that’s more comfortable on their smartphones than at the steering wheel.

Lynk & Co. isn’t just appearing out of thin air – it’s a joint venture between Geely and its subsidiary Volvo, which explains why it’s such an impressive looking piece of kit. But the approach is truly novel, and it’ll be interesting to see how customers react, both in China and with future planned expansions to other markets.