ALAIN VISSER (CEO Lynk & Co International)
When I asked my son what car he wanted for his 18th birthday, he stood there motionless and looked at me with a pained expression on his face. “What are you asking me? I don’t want a car! Where would I park it? Where would I service it? If I need transportation, I will find it one way or another in an easier way.” He is a part of an exclusive club, a demanding club and one that is spoilt with a burgeoning world full of quality products – he is a Millennial.
This generation doesn’t buy cars like those before them, they want cool brands and they want ease and service now. I saw a Cambridge University study of graduates on what was on their Top 10 list of things they want to achieve in life and for an age, a car has taken pride of place near the top. But, in the past few years, a car hasn’t even registered; it isn’t even in the top 10 any more. The only reaction the car world has committed to is to simply make cars better. The trouble is, the people in the world out there don’t want better cars, they want a more clever mobility offer.
We are blessed with a world full of choice, cool brands and good cars, so why have we started Lynk & Co? We saw a need, a need for mobility and a way to offer it in a totally different way. We are not a car company, we want to offer mobility and that is what new brands should be all about. It can’t be another version of something that already exists, it has to be something that almost reinvents an industry, just look at what has happened in other industries, Spotify in the music industry, Netflix in the film industry, Uber in the taxi industry, Airbnb in the hotel industry. They all offer a similar product, but in a completely different, modern and transparent way.
The genesis for building our brand was to start with the customer first, instead of the car. Millennial’s are the fastest growing biggest consumer group in the world and interestingly that growth is the same in Asia, the US and Europe. This is a group that ticks differently the whole world over and we had this incredible opportunity to satisfy a mind-set, a group that demands immediacy, ease of use, sustainability and most importantly, a cool look.
This new generation does not want cars, least of all a new car company; they want convenient, sustainable mobility and they want it wrapped up in a cool brand. Traditional models do not sync the same with this consumer group, they don’t want to spend twenty thousand dollars or more on a car, nor do they want to spend five hundred dollars per month to commit for the next 12/24/36 months. They know that they can spend three hundred dollars this month, but they don’t want to commit or know what they’re going to do next month; the world is more open than ever before, today’s customer wants to be free to drop and explore without constriction from one month or week to the next.
The desire for interaction and exploration is insatiable. I am so proud Lynk & Co can now offer my son and other urbanites simpler, smarter and shareable mobility – the world truly is yours and on your terms.