Lynk & Co chooses Belgian Volvo plant for European models
Senior European Editor
The Auto Channel
The Hague, May 2, 2018. In December, Volvo confirmed the possibility that its plant in Belgium would build cars for Lynk& Co. Both brands belong to the Chinese Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., Ltd.
Now, it is official: from 2019, the award-winning Volvo facility in Ghent, Belgium, will build the Lynk & Co CO 01 crossover for the European market on the same production line as the Volvo XC40, the 2018 European Car of the Year. The L&C model shares the CMA (Compact Modular Architecture) with Volvo.
Lynk & Co’s 02 was recently revealed in Amsterdam and will probably also be produced in Ghent.
Cars for the Asian market are built in China. Sales in the US are expected to start next year. L&C said it is studying the possibilities of also producing in America.
Volvo has two manufacturing facilities in Europe, In Torslana, Sweden and the one in Belgium. The latter opened in 1965 and employs some 5,000. In addition to the XC40, it builds the V40 and V40 Cross Country hatchbacks, as well as the S60 sedan. This spring, it will start producing the new-generation V60 station wagon.
Lynk & Co senior vice president Alain Visser said in a statement: “We will manufacture in Europe, for Europe, focusing initially on hybrid – only derivatives of our new range of cars.. It makes absolute sense that we commence European production for Lynk & Co alongside a brand with the absolute trust mark and global recognition in safety, quality, design and international appeal. We could not wish for a better start in our home markets.”
Lynk is preparing to build SUVs in new factory in Zhangjakou, China, with digitally connected robots and 1,800 workers.
Mother Zhejang Geely Holding Group has invested 12 billion yuan ($ 1.89 billion) in the new plant.
Reuters talked to plant manager Tong Xiangbei, who is amidst a tech revolution that enables automakers to put new factories in remote places like Zhangjiakou, a city of four million people in Hebei province and far from many of Geely's parts makers.
"With this team, we could go anywhere and replicate this factory," Tong, 42, who previously worked at Ford, told Reuters during the first media tour of the factory.
The ability to build cars in almost any location that has electricity and decent roads is one factor behind PSA Group's clash with German workers over proposed cost-cutting at Opel brand factories once owned by General Motors., according to Reeuters.
GM has agreed to invest $3.6 billion in its money losing South Korean operations only after unions representing workers at its plants agreed to allow the shutdown of a factory in Gunsan, Korea and gave concessions GM said will save $400 to 500 million a year.