Lynk & Co, one of the more prominent and internationally-focused brands under the Geely umbrella co-established with Volvo, is now locked-in to enter the Malaysian market within the next 5 years. By the year 2025, the badge will have established a presence locally, though what this entails remains a mystery.
As if being the majority stakeholder and operator of national automaker Proton as it surges back into prominence wasn’t enough, Geely has now officially confirmed that it has more far-reaching plans for the Malaysian automotive market.
Following the presentation of its “Smart Geely 2025” strategy earlier in 2021, in which numerous initiatives and action plans were outlined to help achieve a group-wide annual sales target of 3.65 million vehicles, the Chinese automaker confirmed Lynk & Co’s expansion to new markets including Malaysia, Russia, Australia, and New Zealand.
In the past, test units of Lynk & Co production vehicles, so identified by their left-hand drive configuration, were spotted on Malaysian roads for obvious feasibility trials. This confirmation proves that this move was years in the making.
More broadly, Geely is also seeking to expand their reach by making inroads into regions previously unknown to the brand such as South America, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and yes, other countries within Southeast Asia.
Obviously, given the Proton connection, Malaysia makes for the perfect springboard for entry into lucrative territories like Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam - especially for Geely’s newer electrified-only marques such as Polestar, Geometry, and Zeekr.
Since its inception, Lynk & Co has emphasised their unique vehicle sales and distribution model that focuses on subscriptions, vehicle sharing, and longer-term leases over the more typical private ownership. However, the brand has since become more flexible on the concept, opening the doors to markets that aren’t quite ready for such a paradigm shift.
At the moment, a total of 9 models populate the Lynk & Co line-up, starting with the aptly named 01, a compact SUV built on the same CMA (Compact Modular Architecture) platform shared with the Volvo XC40. The 05 is very closely related but boasts a sportier coupe-style body.
There are hatchbacks, saloon cars in the mix as well, such as the 02 and 03, also underpinned by CMA. At the top of the size heap, there’s also the Lynk & Co 09, a premium 7-seat SUV that’s clearly cut from the same cloth as the Volvo XC90 and packing enough tech features to upstage the big Swede.
The 09, curiously, also boasts a slightly more powerful version of the T8 Twin Engine PHEV powertrain, with a combined output of 431hp over the XC90’s peak of 402hp.
Of course, we have to wait for more official word on the matter before we can speculate on which models might grace a Malaysian Lynk & Co showroom, physical or virtual.
However, we can make an educated guess that Geely is very aware of the need for local assembly for their cars to be cost-viable here, hence the strong likelihood that either a major expansion of Proton’s Tanjung Malim plant or a completely new facility is on the cards between now and 2025.