Why does Lynk & Co build a pure electric Z10 when there are so many pure electric cars in the market?

In 2006, Wei Gang met Li Shufu for the first time in a taxi. When talking about the industry, Li Shufu said excitedly to Wei Gang.

I can predict the potential risks that the upcoming financial crisis will bring to various industries. Some established car companies may have big problems in the next two or three years. If Ford has problems, I will definitely buy Volvo. That is me Dream company.

Wei Gang had long heard that the chairman of the Geely Group in front of him was a "car maniac." However, Wei Gang was a little disapproving of Li Shufu's "craziness." Although there was still a polite smile on his face, Wei Gang only had two words in his heart: Haha.

After bidding farewell to Li Shufu, Wei Gang turned around and shared the news with a British friend. The British man, who never liked to comment in front of others, replied with a meaningful, "Interesting."

Everyone laughed at Li Shufu's "Volvo dream".

Speaking of this past event, Wei Gang was filled with emotion. Now as the CEO of uni3, he is not only a key figure in Geely's acquisition of Volvo, but also an important promoter in leading Geely to the European market and becoming an international company.

On the occasion of the debut of the Lynk & Co pure electric Z10, Dong Chehui came to the uni3 headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden, and met with Geely Automobile Group CEO Gan Jiayue, Geely Auto Group Senior Vice President Lin Jie, Lynk & Co Auto Sales Company Deputy General Manager Chen Xiaofei and just mentioned Wei Gang, CEO of uni3, arrived and had a unique conversation.

Among them are anecdotes about Geely’s acquisition of Volvo, as well as Lynk & Co’s thoughts on pure electric vehicles.

Geely takes a taxi and drives from Coventry to the world

Although Geely is my country's first private enterprise with qualifications to build cars, in 2006, Geely only had the "last three" cards – Haoqing, MiRi, and Unio.

Faced with a series of domestic production and quality problems that were difficult to solve, Li Shufu turned to manganese copper at that time.

▲In 2006, Geely signed an agreement with the British Manganese Bronze Company

The Manganese Bronze Company was once a British automobile manufacturing company with a history of manufacturing special taxis for nearly a century. In the early days, it also produced car bodies for Rolls-Royce. If you walk around the streets of London, you will find that 80% of taxis come from Manganese Bronze.

As luck would have it, a manganese copper company trapped in a single product and a single market has very high production costs. Because of this, they have always wanted to enter the Chinese market, purchase spare parts from China, and at the same time find a reliable partner in China.

"So at that time, I did an analysis of the Chinese market and selected some Chinese automobile companies for negotiation. In the end, the one I recommended was Geely." Wei Gang said.

In 2005, Wei Gang, who graduated from Durham University in the UK, successfully joined the British Manganese Bronze Company and was responsible for the development of China business. The first meeting between Wei Gang and Li Shufu was in a taxi for exactly this reason.

There is a story that I remember very clearly. When we were negotiating the joint venture contract, Chairman Shufu personally wrote a sentence in the contract. He said that all quality systems and quality standards of the joint venture company will be constructed by the British Manganese Bronze Company. All intellectual property rights shall belong to the joint venture company.

Although Manganese Bronze is not a big brand, it has a century-old history. As a British listed company, most of Manganese Bronze's management comes from established car companies such as BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, and Aston Martin. It has its own set of This is something that Geely can learn from during its transformation process.

▲LEVC Coventry Factory

Although the cooperation with manganese copper did not bring great economic benefits to Geely due to its single product and small market, it still brought systematic improvement to Geely and created a precedent for Chinese companies to control foreign automobile companies. More importantly, this is a successful pavement for Geely on the road to internationalization.

"In 2009, several British colleagues, including myself, joined the Geely team to acquire Volvo." Wei Gang said.

I remember when we were at the Volvo site, people from Volvo raised a question, saying, Mr. Li Shufu, you are a Chinese entrepreneur and you have no experience in international cooperation. So how can you manage an international enterprise like ours?

Li Shufu's answer was simple, asking them to go to Coventry and have a look: "I have a few British friends here, you can ask them."

Later, Volvo's labor unions at all levels went to Coventry, England, to learn about the situation. My British colleagues and I received them together, and they focused on one question: Can Li Shufu and Geely be trusted? What have they done in the UK?

At the end of the story, the Swedes who came to the UK saw brand new factories, new production lines, and more jobs, and they were finally relieved.

▲"Volvo World" in Gothenburg

Today, 14 years have passed since Geely acquired Volvo. During these 14 years, Geely has gradually become one of the largest investment companies in Sweden.

Based on market capitalization, the Volvo Group ranks third on the Stockholm Stock Exchange and Volvo Cars ranks 21st. In terms of revenue, Volvo Group and Volvo Cars are the two companies with the highest operating income in Sweden, and their combined sales are equivalent to 14% of Sweden's GDP.

" Before Geely acquired Volvo, there were more than 10,000 Volvo employees in Gothenburg, and now there are more than 40,000. " Wei Gang told the Dongqi Automobile Association that Volvo Cars and Volvo Group have become the two largest employers in Sweden, with the number of employees accounting for 1% of Sweden's total population.

Thanks to the two successful acquisitions of Manganese Bronze and Volvo, Geely Automobile has made increasingly smooth progress on the road to internationalization. It has successively acquired shares in Mercedes-Benz and Aston Martin, and acquired Proton, Lotus and Renault Korea. In the bag.

After acquiring Volvo, Geely embarked on a new journey. For Weigang, his career also ushered in a new stage.

Although Geely's best purchase at that time was the Emgrand, the work we did was entirely for Geely's next-generation product, which is now Lynk & Co.

Systematization has become the foundation of Lynk & Co

Like its acquisition of Manganese Bronze, Geely also acquired Volvo with the intention of learning.

At first, we actually wanted to build an R&D center in Europe, such as the UK, but considering that Volvo’s system and personnel could provide backing support, we finally decided to set up an R&D center in Gothenburg.

At that time, my boss called me and asked me if I wanted to go to Gothenburg. I was very excited and asked him when he would report, but he said, "You can go tomorrow."

In 2013, Wei Gang became the main founder and executive deputy general manager of Geely's China-European Automotive Technology Center (CEVT). He has his own views on the cooperation between Geely and Volvo:

Volvo mainly produces luxury cars and does not have the cost advantage of small cars, but Geely has advantages in compact models and procurement.

To put it simply: Volvo’s high quality + Geely’s low cost——

Until now, this is something Lynk & Co is proud of.

▲CEVT is located in the Geely Uni3 building in Gothenburg

When CEVT was first established, An Conghui, then president of Geely Group, had very clear requirements for CEVT: first, to develop a product, second to build a system, and third to cultivate a group of talents.

With the goal of putting R&D first, Geely spent more than 12 billion yuan and took three years. Put the CMA structure on the poker table. The first model based on the CMA architecture is also the first model of the Lynk & Co brand, Lynk & Co 01.

Lynk & Co is born global, and both its brand and manufacturing are global.

Geely Group CEO Gan Jiayue revealed to the Dongqi Auto Conference that so far, the export sales of the Lynk & Co brand have exceeded 70,000 units, mainly in the European market. "We have opened a total of 12 experience stores in 7 European countries. We will continue to integrate the group's resources to promote the deployment of the Lynk & Co brand in more places in Europe and even the world."

In Asia, Lynk & Co has entered countries such as Israel and the United Arab Emirates. In the future, the development of the Lynk & Co brand will focus on Europe, while also deploying in the Asia-Pacific. It will also conduct global layout based on other market needs and internationalization strategies.

However, it should be noted that Lynk & Co’s current overseas plans are limited to plug-in hybrid models. Pure electric models are not included in this list for the time being, including the Lynk & Co Z10 that was just released not long ago.

(If you want to know more about Lynk & Co Z10, you can read "Lynk & Co's first pure electric car Z10 unveiled, breaking 100km/h in 3.5 seconds, charging 573 kilometers in 15 minutes" released by Dong Automobile Association last week)

Although the Lynk & Co Z10 is still a model born globally, it is targeting the more competitive domestic pure electric market.

Lynk & Co, born globally, is heading towards China

Design is the soul of Lynk & Co.

Lin Jie, senior vice president of Geely Automobile Group, believes that relying on Geely Group's car manufacturing system, Lynk & Co already has excellent original capabilities.

"Even if originality requires huge investment, it also means that it may not be successful, but originality is the most valuable," Lin Jie said. The design investment for each Lynk & Co car is "100 million", "so regardless of the styling, Technically and technically, we insist on originality."

Because of this, we can find all the elements of Lynk & Co’s new generation family design language on the Lynk & Co Z10, including “dawn light” daytime running lights and through-type headlight groups. The rear of the car is also in line with The Next Day concept. The through-type taillights are very similar to the car.

Lynk & Co said that the Z10 is not only a collaboration between China and Sweden. There are cutting-edge design talents from more than 20 countries in the Lynk & Co design center. Different countries, different nationalities, and different backgrounds have integrated during the work process.

For Lynk & Co, the Z10 is not only Lynk & Co’s first pure electric model, but also Lynk & Co’s new thinking on tomorrow’s lifestyle and mobility –

A masterpiece that combines art and technology, connecting sensibility and reason.

But design alone is not enough, and Lynk & Co knows this very well.

"The pure electric market is really booming now," Lin Jie said. Lynk & Co's participation was due to user needs. "We are always user-centered. If users have needs, we should meet them."

According to Lynk & Co's user survey, nearly 60% of Lynk & Co's existing users expressed expectations for Lynk & Co's pure electric vehicles, and 40% were willing to choose pure electric vehicles when purchasing additional products.

Unlike a century-old brand that "needs to rejuvenate itself", Lynk & Co is already very young.

Counting from the launch of its first model Lynk & Co 01 in 2017, Lynk & Co is only "7 years old", Lin Jie emphasized.

So we say that Lynk & Co users are born different. They are relatively avant-garde in their thinking and are willing to accept new things. They believe that buying Lynk & Co is buying a new force. Everyone will fully accept whatever energy-based products Lynk & Co launches.

Lin Jie said in the interview that the advantages of Lynk & Co pure electric vehicles can be summarized into four points.

1. Lynk & Co Pure Electric Based on the entire Geely Group’s accumulation and investment in the pure electric field, the group’s strongest pure electric technology will be empowered by Lynk & Co, including the architectural level, intelligent driving level, and cockpit level.

2. Lynk & Co already has more than 1.15 million users and a huge base. Many of them are looking forward to Lynk & Co. realizing their pure electric dream.

3. The pure electric market is highly homogenized, especially in terms of styling design. However, Lynk & Co pure electric has a unique "eyesight-at-a-glance" Lynk & Co style. No matter where you drive it, you can tell it is Lynk & Co at a glance.

4. When the Lynk & Co brand was first established, it was not limited to any energy method and aimed to provide users with the most suitable mobility solutions.

On the other hand, Gan Jiayue on the side added that the high quality inherited from the Volvo brand will also be reflected in Lynk & Co's pure electric product line.

Maintaining product competitiveness is mainly reflected in price, performance and quality, which is "cost-effectiveness". Performance and quality are the prerequisites, otherwise the price will return to zero. I often tell my colleagues that if the quality cannot be guaranteed, don’t talk to me about costs because it is meaningless.

"The industry is very complicated, but we have always advocated positive growth and upward movement, rather than downward movement." Gan Jiayue said.

Anyone with wheels is interested and welcome to communicate. Email: [email protected]

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