Is Lynk & Co. right? Is the future of car ownership not to own a car at all? [Op/Ed]

Lynk & Co.

If Lynk & Co. is right, the worst thing about car ownership is, well, owning a car.

The new company, started by Chinese manufacturer Geely, is aiming to completely change the way most people procure their four-wheeled transportation. When I say most people, I say people who don’t really care about cars, or most people who don’t frequent websites like TFLcar.

For the car enthusiast, owning a car is an especially personal thing. Choosing the right car is a decision based partially on logic, but with a lot of emotion attached to it. Cars become an extension of us, a way to both show the world who we are and to provide us with a visceral, emotional experience every time we get behind the wheel. Driving the wrong car is the equivalent of working in the wrong field, living in the wrong town or even marrying the wrong person.

But that holds true just for people who like cars. For a lot of people, car ownership is a hassle. They don’t care about driving dynamics or emotional attachment; they just want a car that gets them from point A to point B and can hold all their stuff, which explains the proliferation of crossovers and SUVs.

Lynk & Co

Enter Lynk & Co. On their website, they say all the things that most people want to hear. Things like, “I don’t know anything about cars. I don’t even want to. I’ve got better things to do.” Or this one: “Are you serious? It’s just another thing I’d have to look after.” All these sayings are peppered between images of young, hip millenials that have more important things to do than own a car, like hanging with their friends at the coffee shop, or finding new and creative ways to put holes in their jeans.

Their business model is simple: offer one generic crossover, in this case a Volvo-designed midsize (Geely owns Volvo), offer it at a flexible cost – monthly lease, purchase, or even just borrowing – and pack it full of technology. It’s like an iPhone you can drive.

It also offers ways for your new, generic-yet-personal crossover to make you money, like by lending it out to others when you’re at work or on vacation. It’s all connected to your smartphone. Not only that, but you can use someone else’s car the same way.

So what does the TFLcar audience think of this? Is this the new ownership paradigm for those to whom cars are a burden? And would you ever consider something like this? Start the conversation in the comments below.

And check out this related TFLcar video of a Geely you can buy now, the 2017 Volvo XC90, going up against the Mercedes-Benz GLS: