China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group has delayed Lynk & CO's sales launch in Europe and the United States because it needs more time to establish a company-owned dealership network. Alain Visser, Lynk & CO's senior vice president of marketing and sales, said that they will start in Europe between the first quarter and the first half of 2019 and enter the U.S. some months later.
Originally, Lynk planned to debut in both markets in late 2018, starting with sales of the 01 compact crossover. Volvo Car Corp.’s sister brand also revealed this week that Berlin and San Francisco will be its launch markets in Europe and the United States. Visser added that Lynk & CO will be the first brand to offer its owners the possibility to share their cars when they are not used, that's why they are starting from cities with a high penetration of shared- economy services.
Last year Visser said the current car distribution model is "broken” because outsourcing sales to dealers robs automakers of margins as well as the opportunity to build up their brand image. While Lynk & CO plans to set itself apart by emphasizing Internet sales, it also wants to build a network of more than 500 company-owned dealerships, which Visser said will be in big shopping malls. The network will include flagship stores and temporary pop-up stores in cities.