Volvo is making an important step in developing its first autonomous cars and renting company. The Swedish car maker will produce cars for the new car brand Lynk & Co in Volvo Cars’ manufacturing plant in Ghent, Belgium, from late 2019.
The announcement represents a closer collaboration between the two companies, following Volvo Cars’ acquisition of a 30 per cent stake in Lynk & Co last year. Lynk & Co was launched as a new volume brand by Zhejiang Geely Holding, the owner of Volvo Cars, in 2015.
By providing Lynk & Co with production capacity at its Ghent plant, Volvo Cars is backing the expansion of the new car brand in Europe and further diversifying its business.
Joint production with Lynk & Co will also have a positive effect on cost levels, employment and production volumes at the Ghent plant, while generating further economies of scale related to the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) used by both Volvo Cars and Lynk & Co.
Volvo Cars is creating a diversified, modern car company that includes an electrified performance arm, a software start-up, a car subscription business, the stake in Lynk & Co and a technology-sharing joint venture that creates synergies within the wider Volvo Car Group and the Zhejiang Geely Holding group.
Ghent is one of two car manufacturing plants operated by Volvo Cars in Europe and has produced Volvos since 1965. At the moment it employs around 5,000 people.
The Ghent plant currently builds the XC40, Volvo’s first entry in the fast-growing small SUV segment, which was named 2018 European Car of the Year last month at the Geneva Motor Show. Ghent also builds the V40 and V40 Cross Country hatchbacks as well as the S60 saloon, and will soon start producing the all-new V60 five-door, mid-size estate revealed in February this year.