Lynk & Co subscribers in Europe lending their 01 plug-in hybrid to other users have earned themselves back some 850 000 euros in the last twelve months, sharing the car some 18 000 times or approximately for 1,5 million hours.
By setting the rental price themselves, some of them even make a revenue of over €1 000 a month on a car they paid €550 monthly until recently, all included, CEO Alain Visser told Ed Bernardon in a Siemens Future Car Podcast. But from now on, the Swedish-Chinese sister brand of Volvo will charge its piece of the pie, about 10% on average.
Dutch are sharing the most
Actually, 16% of Lynk & Co B2C customers in Europe use car sharing offered by the brand, with the Netherlands at 22% being the champions. That country was the first, after homeland Sweden, to have the Lynk & Co 01 PHEV introduced as the one-car-offer of the brand in Europe.
In China, Geely’s daughter has seven models on sale, but the subscription model is unique to Europe for now. The Belgian CEO of Lynk & Co, Alain Visser, after 36 years with a top career at Ford, General Motors, and Volvo, launched the idea of using a car like a streaming service rather than buying it.
Unused 96% of the time
In his vision, it’s absurd to see cars worldwide, on average, standing still, unused for 96% of their time while costing the owner a leg and an arm. So he launched the offer of a monthly car subscription at €500 at that time, all insurances and maintenance included, with the option to unsubscribe at any time with a 20-day notice, without penalty.
There is only one model and two colors to choose from (blue or black) of the compact SUV sharing the same technical base as the Volvo XC40 PHEV, but some 20 cm longer. Sharing your car via the company’s app and networking with family, neighbors, or other Lynk & Co members you don’t even know is another revolutionary feature that comes with the concept.
Potential of 15% of car buyers
There are no long-term contracts of three to five years as with traditional leasing, and this subscription comes at a fee far below regular short-time car rental prices. Early research by the company showed that the idea of no longer owning a car but just paying for the use of the mobility it offers appeals to 15% of car drivers worldwide.
So instead of joining the somewhat 150 car brands that focus on selling a new car, Visser claims to be the only automotive boss for now not tempting to sell his cars, but rather a mobility service and push his customers to share it as much as possible for sustainability reasons. With 74 million new cars to be sold worldwide in 2023, 15% is still a whopping 11 million possible interested clients to go for.
The idea, first launched in Sweden and the Netherlands just after the coronavirus pandemic and later extended to Belgium, Germany, Italy, and France, initially caught on more than envisioned. To an extent, the brand became a victim of its success while dealing with shortages and long delivery times like every other brand in the sector.
Raising to €600 per month
But despite that ‘unhoped success’, in August 2022, Lynk & Co had to change its monthly subscription price for the 01 SUV PHEV for the first time from €500 to €550 (VAT incl.) or a full 10% for all new contracts. The monthly fee was recently raised again to 600 euros, still offering full options, insurance and maintenance, and 1 250 km monthly (15 000 km a year) included.
But private users – so-called B2C clients – and not B2B or business users can earn back a part of that monthly fee by sharing their cars with other Lynk & Co members who register for free. The ‘lenders’ can offer their car at an hourly or daily rental price they define themselves.
Swedes generally charge the lowest average hourly price (€9/hour), while the highest prices asked were found in Italy (€30/hour). In total, they earned some €850 000 for themselves in the past year, with Lynk & Co acting as a facilitator, checking legal requirements for the renting, collecting payments, and refunding the lenders.
Initially, Lynk & Co didn’t charge anything for those services, as Alain Visser told in an interview they didn’t want to make money on the sharing model but only would try to recuperate actual costs. So from now on, an administrative fee – probably some 10% of the user’s rental price – will be automatically added to the rental price suggested by the lender.
From November 15th, users must include DAC7 data in their online profile for tax reasons. DAC7 is a tax directive in the EU that requires digital platform operators in the EU to report personal and business information about their providers to tax authorities. So, with the bèta version of the sharing ending, things are getting serious at Lynk & Co.