The future is mobile

Apr 2020by Alain Visser, CEO of Lynk & Co

Can Lynk & Co be the ones that change the car industry?

Consumer behavior now has only little in common with that of 10 years ago, let alone a century ago. What is fascinating is that the truly major trends are global. The cultural differences exist, but the major trends are common across all regions. Some claim it is age driven, but it isn’t. It’s a mindset.

Let me brutally simplify and focus on the three trends most relevant to our industry: (1) a shift from material ownership to quality of experience; (2) a continued mobility need complemented by a permanent connectivity need; and (3) a genuine motivation to protect our planet, a true sustainability.

New industries are born based on these new trends. Other industries evolve or adapt. And strangely enough, some industries hardly change at all. The car industry belongs to this last group. It’s business model is unchanged since about a century. The product evolves constantly but not the consumer journey. And even then, one might say that a product such as a ‘mobile phone’ has evolved more in the last 10 years than a car has in 50.

Spotify changed the music industry, Uber changed the taxi industry, Netflix the broadcast and film industry. Can we be the ones that change the car industry? I know it sounds ambitious; but we are.

The future is mobile

In 2020 we will be waiting for you

It’s quite fascinating that in a business world where consumer contact is key, as it drives the brand and thus the revenue, the car industry covers all aspects of the business, except these customer touch points - which are outsourced to franchised dealers. It is, after more than a century, still an engineering driven industry, despite its claim to be customer driven.

When we started Lynk & Co, we didn’t think we were cleverer than all other car brands. We just thought that given these new global trends, there is room for a change, but not by doing something similar to what others do but doing it in a truly revolutionary way. So, in line with these three global trends we decided to create a lifestyle brand that offers mobility solutions and experiences rather than just selling cars.

96% of the time, cars are not utilized; it’s a shocking fact in a world where sustainability finally matters. So we want to optimize the utilization of cars (we offer electric and hybrid only) rather than just getting more and more of them on our already congested roads. We want our cars to be smartphones on wheels, so they need to be connected at all times offering a wide range of cool connected services. Everything must be simple, transparent. No months of waiting for your car, no price dealing, eliminating all the unpleasant experiences in today’s car world.

Our ambition is to be the first mobility brand driven by customer needs rather than by the product car, taking in mind all different mobility solutions that could become a part of our offer. The first new generation car brand.

We want to own the customer touchpoints and not outsource it to independent dealers, which radically reduces distribution cost whilst offering a unique customer experience. And instead of selling cars only, we want to create Lynk & Co mobility memberships where our customers commit for our mobility services for just a month, just like Spotify or Netflix.

But a state-of-the-art product combined with a totally new business model is not enough. We need to create a cool brand. Because the new modern consumer buys into brands more than the products. And trying to be cool is not cool. The only way to be relevant to millennials is to let millennials make the calls. So, we recruited young talented people from all over the globe, most of them without any car industry experience, many of them without even a driver's license. And most of all, we like to have fun. If our team has fun, we believe our consumers will feel that. Can we prove that? Not at all. But does it matter?

We launched our concept at the end of 2017 in China. We predominantly wanted to test the brand, the product and partly the business model. Now, having closed 2018, we are proud to have become the fastest selling mobility brand in the history. Our sales numbers for a totally new brand are exceptional and proof that the change is the only path to be taken and that the decision to focus on consumer’s real needs and existing global trends is working.

So, we are excited to come to Europe next. In 2020 we will be waiting for you. And we hope you will be waiting for us...