Chinese conglomerate Geely, the owner of Lynk & Co, is in talks to manufacture the Lynk & Co 01 and Chinese models in South Korea, as per a new Reuters report. If an agreement is reached, this plan could lead to the U.S. launch of the Lynk & Co brand, with the 01 as its first model in the country.
Renault and Geely are discussing a collaboration that allows the former to borrow the CMA platform and take another shot at China (following the exit in 2020). Renault isn’t doing well in South Korea either, where it operates through a joint venture with Samsung. Geely sees Renault and Samsung’s jointly owned South Korean plant, located in Busan, as a smart way to the U.S. South Korea has a free-trade agreement with the United States, and it has built a reputation for high-quality cars among Americans. There’s the added benefit of better diplomatic relations between the nations.
The report says that Geely wants to manufacture the Lynk & Co 01 SUV at Renault Samsung Motors (RSM)’ factory in Busan. It will simply outsource the job to RSM instead of acquiring the production site and managing the operation. The Lynk & Co 01 is available in gasoline, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid variants, and Geely is interested in overseas production of the gasoline and hybrid variants. RSM will make several Lynk & Co brand models, not just the 01.
The Lynk & Co 01’s hybrid variant uses a 106 kW (142 hp)/215 Nm (159 lb.-ft.) 1.5L three-cylinder gasoline engine linked to a 7-speed DCT and a 40 kW (54 hp)/130 Nm (96 lb.-ft.) electric motor. A 1.8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack powers the electric motor. The hybrid system produces 197 PS (194 hp) of total power.
The plug-in hybrid variant uses a powerful and torquier 1.5L three-cylinder gasoline engine that features direct injection. This engine, also paired with a 7-speed DCT, produces 132 kW (177 hp) and 265 Nm (195 lb.-ft.). The electric motor is punchier, too, generating 60 kW (80 hp) and 160 Nm (118 lb.-ft.). The lithium-ion battery pack is a significantly bigger, 17.6 kWh unit. The plug-in hybrid powertrain develops a combined power of 261 PS (257 hp). The electric range of the plug-in hybrid variant on the WLTP cycle is 69 km (43 miles).
Like in Europe, Lynk & Co models in the U.S. could come with a subscription option. Alain Visser, CEO, Lynk & Co International, told Bloomberg earlier that the subscription business model will be feasible in the United States. There’s no word on the timeline of Lynk & Co U.S. launch yet. We’ll update this story as and when new information emerges.
Featured Image Source: Lynk & Co