Changing the Face of Mobility with Alain Visser

By Drew Wilson

Listen on your podcast platform of choice 🎤

or watch the video on YouTube ▶️ 

What to expect from this episode:

Inspiration behind Lynk & Co 💡

The inspiration behind Lynk & Co is to create a new kind of car company that offers flexible, convenient, and affordable mobility solutions for the digital age. With cars sitting for an average of 96% of their life, Lynk & Co is offering an innovative solution.

Unique subscription-based membership models 🧩

The subscription model of Lynk & Co allows customers to pay a monthly fee for access to a car, without the hassle of ownership, maintenance, or insurance. It is beneficial because it gives customers the freedom to choose when and where they need a car, and the option to share it with others or make money from it.

Incorporating sustainability into the manufacturing of their vehicles ♻️

With some very ambitious sustainability goals, Lynk & Co is setting out to disrupt the traditional car market. Learn how their sustainability goals may bring some attention along the way.

 “So we see a sharing community starting, but also a community, an organization, a society where people want to have experiences. So we said, yeah, we have a cool car, let’s just not sell it. Let’s use the car to offer an experience that is shareable rather than just sell the thing.”

It’s no secret that mobility is changing. Calls for a greater focus on sustainability in transport have never been higher and car manufacturers have no option but to level-up and meet these demands. 

In this episode, Ed Bernardon interviews Alain Visser, CEO of Lynk & Co, a mobility company focused, and built around, the evolution of customer needs when it comes to transport. Lynk & Co. offer subscription, buying, and borrowing options for their vehicles, challenging car industry conventions and creating a system that’s easy-to-use, profitable, and entirely connected.

In today’s episode, Ed speaks to Alain about the idea behind Lynk & Co and what, as CEO, he envisions for the company as it continues to grow. They also talk about the company’s vehicle model, discussing all its amazing and unique features, as well as Lynk & Co’s focus on sustainability, and a whole lot more!

Some Questions Asked:

  • What would you say is the driving force that made you think about providing mobility in a different way? (3:08)
  • So the idea is, I could have the car available for car sharing. How does that work? (12:33)
  • How’s it different? Older versus younger? North America, Europe, Asia? What differences do you see in willingness to share? (25:33)
  • How does what they would do with the extra parking space change based on country or age? (28:41)
  • Will you have to make the roads bigger, because there’s more cars on the road? (31:53) 
  • From an engineering standpoint, when you’re setting out your specifications for the vehicle, how does [it] change when you’re aiming for a mobility product versus a car product? (35:35)
  • How does the government in different countries and regulations impact your global plans for expansion? (50:40)

What You’ll Learn in this Episode:

  • About the idea and inspiration behind Lynk & Co (1:49)
  • About the options available to customers of Lynk & Co (8:44)
  • Why Lynk & Co have chosen to take a different route than traditional car manufacturers (22:41)
  • About the “fun stuff” included in Lynk & Co’s car model, ‘The 01’ (33:20)
  • How Lynk & Co are incorporating sustainability into the manufacturing of their vehicle (37:39)
  • About the amazing Lynk & Co Club (1:01:02)
  • About Alain’s vision for the future of vehicles and mobility (1:03:34)

Connect with Alain Visser/Lynk & Co.: 

Connect with Ed Bernardon:

Ed Bernardon: [00:00] [00:00:03.24]

What does it mean to actually buy a car? And is a car really what we want to buy? Or are we really trying to buy mobility? And mobility is probably one of the many reasons why we actually buy a car. And you can buy mobility, though, in many different ways. Certainly, you can buy a car, you can rent a car, or you can use ride-sharing and get a ride from Uber or Lyft. But when you do something like that, each one of those you actually get from a different company. Well, things are starting to change because our guest today, Alain Visser, is the CEO of Lynk & company; they are actually combining owning a car, renting a car, ride-sharing all of this into one company. And in fact, they don’t even call themselves a car company, but they actually like to think of themselves as a mobility brand. Alain, welcome to The Future Car podcast. [00:01:10.06]


Alain Visser [01:02] [00:01:11.00]:

Thank you very much, Ed. Great to be there. [00:01:13.06]


Ed Bernardon [01:05] [00:01:14.13]:

Like you say, you don’t consider yourself to be a car maker, but rather a mobility brand. You even go so far to say, as I’ve read, you’re the rude rebel of the automotive industries, and cars should be like celebrities — easy to cancel. That’s a great slogan. Tell us what all this means. [00:01:36.15]


Alain Visser [01:26 ] [00:01:38.21]:

Yeah, that’s exactly right. And it’s difficult to summarize it in one sentence. But I would say I spent 36 years in the car industry in different major companies and realized that nothing is really changing and that we just keep on doing the same thing, which is basically making cars, shipping them to our dealers who sell and repair them, and the world is changing. And we see people’s needs are evolving rapidly. And there’s a growing percentage of people who, as you said, yes, they want to use a car they want to drive, but more and more people are thinking, “Do I really need to own a car? Is that the only way solution to then be mobile, with a car?” And the most shocking statistic that I’ve seen in the last 10 years, Ed, is that the average car on this planet stands still for 96% of the time. That’s just shocking. It’s a very inefficient asset that we buy. We spent so much money for using it for 4% of the time. So I thought, when I started this company about seven years ago, “Let’s do something else than just selling cars. Let’s offer an experience to our customers that includes mobility.” And that’s really where we started from. [00:02:59.01]


Ed Bernardon [02:44] [00:02:59.03]:

What was the driving force that made you think about providing mobility in a different way?


Alain Visser [02:53] [00:03:11.04]:

I think it’s two things. It’s going to sound religious, but it’s actually a true story. My two sons who are true millennials; they’re 23 and 27 and live in London. They asked me about that same period, seven years ago, “So, Dad, what have you been doing my whole life?” And I came to the very sobering answer that I sold cars. And that didn’t really give me a warm feeling, thinking there must be something more positive to do other than just selling cars. And the second thing, Ed, is that I get a little bit upset when all the car manufacturers are now suddenly saying we’re sustainable. Whereas, as I said, if your business model consists on selling as many as possible cars that are standing still for 96% of the time, you can be as electric as you want to be, it’s not a sustainable business model. So I thought, let’s do something that is more in touch with the consumer needs of today, which is not necessarily owning a car for a growing percentage and something that, at the same time, is more sustainable, which means that not only the product is more sustainable, but the usage of the product is more sustainable than lets just letting it hanging around for 96% of the time. [00:04:31.03]


Ed Bernardon [04:08] [00:04:34.17]:

Traditionally, we think of ourselves as owning a car. What you’re describing is you want to own mobility because when your car is sitting there for 96% of the time, nothing is mobile. In fact, it’s sitting there, that’s the opposite of being mobile. [00:04:49.23]


Alain Visser [04:23] [[00:04:52.29]

That’s exactly right, and that goes hand in hand with another, I think, extremely interesting phenomenon based on the research that we have done seven years ago, and of course, we continue to update it, is that one of the most interesting trends that we see both in the US, in Europe, and in China is that people more and more spent more time on doing things rather than on buying things. So the ownership becomes less important; the experience becomes much more important. You can just see it everywhere: yoga, sports, trips. And of course, the more you’re interested in the stuff in the things you do rather than the things you own, you also start being more open to share the things you own because you don’t care that much about it anymore. So we see a sharing community starting, but also a community, an organization, a society, where people want to have experience more than doing stuff. So we said, “Yeah, we have a cool car; let’s just not sell it. Let’s use the car to offer an experience that is shareable rather than just sell the thing.” [00:06:10.12]


Ed Bernardon [05:38] [00:06:10.12]:

Your company’s values. I love how you explained it: open, simple, sustainable, and wow. So how can you be wow and simple at the same time? I think this comes into this whole idea of experience versus ownership. Wow and simple, how do they fit together? [00:06:32.27]


Alain Visser [06:00] [00:06:34.21]  :

I would say the simplicity is for me that transparency, brutally simple, no small letters “from that and that and that is not included.” But also, to give a simple example about our simplicity, we have one car in two colors with no options. So our configurator on our website is black or blue. That’s it. In all other car manufacturers, you’d have different models, we have one; you have different trim levels, we have one; you’d have 16-inch wheel, 17-inch wheels, 15 colors, we just have black and blue, and all the rest is standard. So that’s what we mean with simple, brutally simple. [06:39] [00:07:14.27]



Ed Bernardon [8:20] [00:09:15.09]

So, tell us about subscription, traditional leasing, purchasing, car sharing, and rental. Maybe you could go through and explain to everyone really what all this disruption is about in terms of how you can actually own mobility. [8:35] [00:09:31.14]


Alain Visser [09:00]  [00:09:32.25]:

So, basically, I would say our mother offer, our DNA is a subscription model, which basically means you buy a month with a car, and it’s really just one month; you can cancel after one month, you only commit to one month. Say you have 550 euros, everything is included, service, warranty, insurance. So everything is included at a certain mileage, which in our case is 15,000 kilometers per year. It really covers everything. And that’s the one-month contract, which, to make it clear for the B2C, the retail private customers is about 99% of the customers. But we’ve always said we don’t want to push ownership to our customers, the customers decide. If somebody comes into our club and says, “I really love this car. I want to buy it.” It will be quite arrogant, if not stupid, to say, “No, you can’t.” So, we say, “Yeah, you can buy it as well. It is there they exist. We offer the monthly subscription. You can buy it. But you can also lease it.” So there’s leasing available. Whether you’re saying, “Instead of only committing to one month, I just want to commit it for 24 months, 36 months, or more,” than that, of course, as you can imagine, it is particularly our fleet customers, our B2B customers are particularly interested in. But then I think what makes us stand out probably is that, look, there are a lot of leasing companies as well a lot of rental companies because the subscription is closer to a rental than to a lease. But what we also do is that during the time you have the vehicle, in any of the cases—leasing, subscription, or buying—you can share the car. And the more you share the car, the more your cost goes down because, of course, you get the revenue from the period that another person is using your car. So that’s a bit of the whole concept: subscription, leasing, buy, and in for all three of them, you can share it. [10:59]  [00:11:45.14]


Ed Bernardon [12:40] [00:13:51.28]

So then you bring in this car sharing, which I think is really interesting. So I drive the car to work and now it’s just sitting in the parking lot. So the idea is I could have that car available for car sharing. How does that work? I think you have an app or something. [00:14:11.07]


Alain Visser [12:56] [00:14:14.01]:

So I’ll try to explain it. We always say, “To share our car, should be as simple as to share a pizza.” And there we go again with the simplicity. So I’ll explain it to you. So the only thing you have to do is the app; you need to have the Lynk & Co app to become a member and to share. The membership is free. What you then do is, when I open my app, I would see all the linking calls automatically that are in my area that are available for sharing. So if I want to share my car, I make my car just shareable at the price that I decide. If you then open your app, you would see my car amongst many others. If you decide you want my car, you click on that car, you then get my contacts, and you get a code. With that code on your phone, with your phone, you can open my car or you can drive my car for that period. So it’s as simple as that. No keys to be exchanged, etc. Insurance is covered within the policy, and you collect the car where it is, and you bring it back where you collected it unless you and I agree that it is going to be a day later or another location. But the standard procedure is you just pick it up where I left it, and you bring it back at the time that we agreed. And the payment all happens online via credit card transfer. So it’s all integrated in the app that we designed and worked on together. [00:15:45.26]


Ed Bernardon [14:22] [00:15:46.05]

And you can decide the price. You’re competing in a way against the other Lynk & Co owners. Is that the idea?


Alain Visser [14:31]  [00:15:48.11]:

Yeah, that’s exactly right. We had long discussions of how we do it, and we basically said, “Let’s learn from the experts like Airbnb,” and Airbnb uses you to decide a price as well. What we do is we give an indicative price because of the problem in Europe is, I guess, is the same in US rental prices in Munich or not the same as in London or in Paris. So we, based on the city where you are, we give sort of the average price that people used to charge for the borrowing. And then they decide, and you see on your app the cars that are available and what their price is. So you either take the cheapest, I guess, or maybe the one that is closest to you, that’s your choice. But if you are the guy who has a subscription, it’s your decision. It’s not us. [15:02] [00:16:46.13]


Ed Bernardon [16:20] [00:18:09.29]:

When you do this car sharing, and you’re bringing money in? Do you get to keep all the money? Does Lynk & Co take a cut from that? Or is it all yours? [00:18:21.06]


Alain Visser [16:45] [00:18:19.25]: We take the cut. So the fact is that we have strategically decided not to make money on sharing; we just recover the costs. We see sharing as one, our strategic goals from a sustainability point of view to have cars being utilized more. But we see more and more people are starting to share their car now as a reason why people join Lynk & Co. So if you, for example, say you make your car available for, I’m just saying something $30 per day, the ones that open the app will probably see something like $33. And the $3 then covers the costs in terms of the whole operation, insurance, etc. And I think the relevance of the numbers 30 versus 33 is about right. So it’s just a couple of dollars that could add it to cover for the administration costs and insurance [00:19:17.11]


Ed Bernardon [17:34] [00:19:16.21]:

Has anyone approached you and said, “Oh, I’d like to buy 100 cars or a large number and basically become a rental? I don’t know if you’d call it a rental car or a car-sharing company. [00:19:16.21]


Alain Visser [17:47] [00:19:33.05]:

We have been selling a lot of cars in big numbers, including car rentals to rental car companies. But interesting, they are using them without any exception like any other car within a rental car company. It’s for us; I must say we like that. We like the fact that because, let’s face it, as our strategic objective is to utilize cars more, the rental car companies are the experts. They lose money if cars are standing still. So they fit into our strategic target; I would almost say they’re an extension to what we try to do. But as far as I know, they do not offer the sharing during the period that the car is rented, probably for logistical reasons. [00:20:20.26]


Ed Bernardon [18:31] [00:20:22.02]:

So if you’re making money sharing it, let’s say I bought or leased it for me. So I have lease payments, but I can share my car. Is it possible to actually get a car and make a profit or break even? How does it all add up in the end? [00:20:39.14]


Alain Visser [18:47]  [00:20:38.16]: Totally we actually have now about 20 customers now in different countries that actually make more money from sharing than they pay in their monthly subscription, to give you an idea. In Europe, now you pay 550 euros; we have quite some customers who now make more than 1000 euros per month on sharing. So it becomes a profitable transaction to use a subscription. And we have no problem with that. Because at the end of the day, it’s our strategic goal the car is utilized more and is good news for the customer that he actually makes money for driving our vehicle. [19:08] [00:21:25.07]


Ed Bernardon [22:32] [00:25:25.28]: It’s almost the ownership of mobility starts to become a gray area. Is it a rental car company? Is that a club? What is it? Do you think that’s what’s going to happen in the years to come, that all of this will evolve into truly, let’s say, our kids or your kids, kids, your grandchildren will probably say car companies? What’s that? [00:25:50.18]


Alain Visser [22:48] : [00:26:00.01]



 I do indeed agree that that is what’s going to happen. Look, and I’m not saying they are wrong. And we are right, we still see the majority of people on this planet buying or leasing a car. But we see that smaller percentage of people growing very fastly of people who just want something fundamentally different. And for them, there is no brand. So we want to be that brand. And according to our statistics add about 15% of the global car buyer, US Europe, not that different, are open for something fundamentally different. And then you could ask yourself, so why the hell do you focus on the 15 and other than the 85. But I always say the 85 There’s about 150 car brands that are there for them for the 15. There’s nobody and 15 is a lot of customers. So the business potential is very high. But to your question, my personal point of view and as is personal, I think less and less people are going to buy a car. I think electrification as we see it happenings now is just going to happen. Is it a big deal? I don’t think so it’s just another machine under the hood, the big change will be with autonomous drive. And that doesn’t mean that suddenly people can read a newspaper while they’re driving. It basically means people will not buy cars any longer to you. We’ll just use an app as we have already today. And when you need a car, you just call it it’s like an Uber without a driver. And that means you don’t have to park your car. You don’t have to service your car. The car industry needs to decide do you want to be bullying? Or do you want to be Lufthansa? You don’t fly to New York with a Boeing you fly to New York with Lufthansa. It’s the surface brand that counts already today you don’t go to the city center with a Toyota Prius you go to the city center with an Uber. So the service brand becomes more important than the product brand. And what I’ve been saying since the beginning of Lincoln co I want Lincoln cars to be a surface brand with a product rather than a product brand with a service. [24:48] [00:28:27.22]



Ed Bernardon [30:33] [00:35:41.24]

Once you see what you can do with that space, oh my goodness, we have more parks; we have more museums; we have more places where we can play football. And I think people will start to value this even more. But isn’t this contrary to what a car company is all about? You’re actually trying to sell fewer cars. [00:36:03.29]


Alain Visser [30:52] [00:36:05.28]:

That’s why as you said at the beginning, we don’t say that we are a car company because it’s not our KPI, and it’s sometimes I think you just have to be reasonable and respond to what the reality is. And it’s 50% of city traffic in Europe is people looking for parking spots. It’s just absurd. So I didn’t drive around in Brussels or in Paris. I wouldn’t feel good saying so; what is my job? I’m going to sell more of them is just absurd. And I think, okay, I actually feel good. Now we’re at least trying to do something; we also want to make money. Let’s not be kidding ourselves. I just think there’s better ways to make money in the car mobility sector than just selling more cars. [31:41] [00:37:00.13]


Ed Bernardon [32:54] [00:38:32.19]:

Let’s talk a little bit about the Lynk & Co; you say it has built-in conductivity, panoramic sunroof parking assistance, and according to your website,] a whole bunch of other fun stuff. I love how you simply said that a whole bunch of other fun stuff. I got to ask you, what is this whole bunch of other fun stuff? Because it sounds like it’s really about experience. You’re not bragging about the horsepower [00:39:03.01]


Alain Visser [33:20] [00:39:03.29]:

No, exactly, and it’s so funny because my colleagues, former colleagues from the car industry, and also some of your colleagues, but then the car journalists, they said, I don’t get it because they drive our car and they say, Jesus, Allah, this is a damn good car. Why don’t you brag about it much more? And I said, “Look, everybody says they have the best car.” Everybody says that, and you know what the reality is? Maybe that all are right. There are no bad cars anymore. All cars are really good. So they’re going to say ours is the best. I said. “No, let’s let the journalist drive it; they will be convinced that our car is damn good.” And in the meanwhile, we can talk about what we’re really doing, which is selling mobility. But okay to 01 car is a damn good car. As I said, it’s a compact SUV; we deliberately decided for a plug-in hybrid, even though we’re now going to electric. But in Europe, for the moment still, the charging infrastructure is a main problem. It’s growing, and now with, the European Commission have been decided that in the future, only electric cars will be allowed as of 2035. That trend will grow very quickly. It’s a compact SUV with some of the cool stuff to your question. I was actually super proud that we were the first car to not offer leather from a sustainability point of view. So are the fabric of our seats is called a Cornell which is made from recycled fishing nets. Trust me it doesn’t smell like that. It’s really a premium fabric. We have some cool stuff. We have a built in camera which is quite fun. So in the in the mirror, you can take a picture in the car and out the car. So you can basically start whatever you do karaoke in the car, film it and then put it on Instagram or on any social media, saying We have some apps, some game apps in the car that we introduce rather than the normal weather for cars or music. Of course, we have Spotify in the Apple CarPlay and Android on the car. But we’ve we added some nice funny features that we think characterizes as we’re more the experience brand. And here is some technical, blah, blah.. [35:23] [[00:41:37.21]


Ed Bernardon [38:29] [00:46:08.24]:

Can you tell us a little bit about the manufacturing process? In what sense is it more sustainable?


Alain Visser [38:34] [00:46:14.04]:

Yeah. So it’s all reusable energy, that the whole regenerated energy, the waste, the reusability of water, we could send you some documentation about it. But if you would visit the plant where we produce the car, I would dare to say, versus the plants I have seen in my long career in the car industry, it’s close to science fiction, is very, very modern, and it’s very, very, at the top edge of sustainability in terms of material used reusability of the energy of the water. That is recycled; I think it’s quite spectacular. It makes a big difference. [00:46:58.29]


Ed Bernardon [39:12 ] [00:46:59.22]:

When your engineers are working, let’s say they’re working on the interior, and they’re trying to select the material that they’d want to use. I don’t know, the seat or the dashboard. How do they know how sustainable these materials are? Or what materials are available? How do you do that? [00:47:18.12]


Alain Visser [39:27] 00:47:17.10]:

I think the honest answer is they don’t know. So I would say that the engineers engineer a vehicle, the designers then it starts with a design, and when it comes to the choice of materials, it’s particularly when it comes to the interior is the designers that are the driving force, and it’s what is nice now that the culture of Lynk & Co being so driven by sustainability, you attract those people also. And I remember in the beginning when I worked with the designers and said, “Look, we don’t want leather seats; we want something more sustainable.” They didn’t understand that, and they were a bit upset because leather has always been seen as premium, which God knows why. Because even in the interior in your homes, you don’t buy leather sofas anymore, that often. It’s all gone away. But in the car industry, everything goes so much slower.  So leather stays, but now, our designers are the ones saying, Oh Alain, look at this, we found this material, this fabric, this whatever metaphor that is super sustainable, and it looks cool.” So it becomes like an internal motivator, we found something that looks good, that has good quality, and it’s sustainable. At the beginning, I had to convince them now it’s part of the, I would almost say, the inherent culture of the company, which makes it very different than look for your information. We haven’t touched on that, but in the commercial team, my commercial team is about, I would say, around 1000 people in the organization. 80% of those people, probably slightly more, have never worked in the car industry. These are people that come to disrupt that would never work for a car company but like to work for us because they like that we’re trying to shock a little bit. So it makes it easier to do things differently. [41:08] [[00:49:23.06]



Ed Bernardon  [44:18] [00:54:51.05]

Earlier in our discussion, you mentioned plans for an electric vehicle or for an Eevee. What’s the plans tell us a little bit about where you’re headed in this direction. [00:55:02.01]


Alain Visser  44:28 [00:55:04.24]

That was always the plan. In the beginning, we dealt to start with a bear for naught. As I explained before, we didn’t do it because of the infrastructure if you only have one card and a card that has some limitations from a usability point of view is probably not a wise choice. But we now to plan plan to introduce end of next year, a fully electric car that will be more or less the same similar dimensions to the car today. As you know, we don’t talk so much about new products in advance. but it will be the concept will stay the same, the car will look super cool, we want to add some elements that, as you said, are the cool fun stuff. But it will be, it will be a full electric little bit like compact size vehicle. [45:16] [00:55:56.02]



Ed Bernardon  [46:52] [00:57:46.19]

There’s a lot of things here that really come together that are coupled, you can put more batteries in the car to get it more range, but now you’re putting more weight in it. And of course, there’s the sustainability associated with the materials in the minerals and everything that are in the batteries. But then you have infrastructure, if you had more infrastructure, maybe you wouldn’t need as much range. How do you see all that coming together? [00:58:18.03]


Alain Visser  47:16 [00:58:18.03]

I think different people have different views. And I read them with interest. And I’m not saying I got it right, I just have my opinion. I just think the whole range discussion we’re having today is a temporary necessity. And it’s only driven by the fact that the charging infrastructure and the charging speeds are insufficient, I would dare to say it in five years, nobody’s going to talk about range, like today, who cares about the range of a petrol car, nobody cares. Because if it’s empty, you just fill it. And that’s gonna be the same in the future with battery electric cars. If it’s empty, you just charge it. And it’s only a matter of time that charging a battery will take a similar time as filling up a petrol car. And a lot of people will say, No, it’s not gonna happen. Those are the same people that 20 years ago said there will never be electric car drives more than 100 miles on one battery. And we always end up proving that we were wrong and things happen. So for me, the rage discussion is just a temporary discussion that will fade away in a matter of few years, I think. [48:23] [00:59:31.23]



Ed Bernardon  [1:00:40] [01:14:31.14]

You spoke earlier. And I wanted to leave this for last, the club, the wow factor, and that is it sounds like it’s a very interesting, crazy place. Tell us about the club. Tell us about the architecture of it. I’ve seen photos of crazy colored couches, and all sorts of murals and things on the walls. [01:14:55.15]


Alain Visser  1:01:02 [01:14:58.27]

I have to be careful with my vocabulary, but I’m gonna say it anyway. In the briefing of the clubs, the responsible the Starbucks guy asked me if somebody enters the club, what should be the first thing they say? And I’ll never forget my answer was what the fuck? So sorry for that on this. So that and look, the background of it is this ad I I’m a strong believer that you can create a business online but you can’t create a brand online, you need to have human interface. So our clubs are not our selling distributed chain. They’re part of the marketing organization, by the way they are. The clubs are not in the sales organization. They’re in the marketing organization. They are for me that like 3d billboards, and they say who we are, we sell sustainable stuff there. If you come into a club, 95% of people enter a club have no idea what Lincoln CO is, they come in, they say, Oh, what the hell is this? They think it’s a bar, then they think it’s a concept store. And then they drive they walk around with a bit of say, upstairs even a car. And then of course, people start to explain what it is. But they are in the city centre. They’re not like car dealerships outside of the city. They’re in the middle of the city, where the shopping and the bars and the restaurants are there about 400 square meters. And there’s always one car the rest is stuff that you can buy that looks cool. That has a sustainable story. All the furniture has a sustainable background. We now have 11 clubs, the the one here in the town where I live is all in flashy orange. Everything the toilet paper, the toilet is an orange. We have a full pink rumor everything is totally pink. But we sell we only sell also sustainable and cool things. Everything with a cool story. We sell a pen, for example, that is made from recycled illegal arms. So everything has a as a cool story [01:19:19.06]


Ed Bernardon  1:03:04 [01:19:18.19]

Recycling fishing as illegal arms. It’s good, get the bad stuff and make it into something good. Exactly. One last question here on the future. Let’s if take a step back, you’ve revolutionized you’re in the process of revolutionising how we buy own mobility. If we go ahead 2030 years from now, what innovations in the actual vehicles themselves in the modes of transportation and how we experience it, tell us your vision,


Alain Visser  1:03:34 [01:20:12.00]

I think people will start buying less and less cars and use more and more cars. But the real game changer is going to be autonomous drive, which is not because people, as I said before, are then suddenly going to drive without hands. But it means that people will just use cars. And I think there’s going to be times where our grandchildren will say, can you imagine for about 100 years, we let people drive these things. And there was about a million and more people who died in car accidents, and nothing really happens. So I think autonomous drive is going to be the big change where people instead of buying a car, leasing a car renting a car, we’ll have an app. And that app provides them the mobility service and whenever they need a car, they get one. And it’s as I said, an Uber without a driver. And I think I believe that is going to be the big change more and more people live in and around the cities. The volume car manufacturers, if I can say so are going to be suppliers to the service companies that offer those app. And that I think there’s going to be the premium brands, the Ferraris the Porsche, the Lamborghinis. I like to call them toys for boys. I always compare with the expensive luxury watch industry, which has never bloomed as much as in the last decades. Whereas nobody needs a watch because you have microsecond, second on your smartphone, but it’s kind of cool to wear a cool old or expensive watch. And it’s a status symbol. And I think in 2050 is going to be so cool to drive a petrol car with a V eight engine and really look for a petrol station which will be very rare by then and drive around with a lot of noise and smoke coming out. And that’s going to be like the old watches today.


Ed Bernardon  1:05:27 [01:22:28.03]

We haven’t seen horses on the road as as the best way to get your groceries right to go to the grocery store. But there’s still a lot of places where you can go to a stable and ride a horse and watch horses race, and it’s probably going to be exactly the same with Carson. Thank you so much, la for joining us. You’ve really opened up everyone’s eyes, I think as to how we’re really going to own mobility in the future. [01:22:55.20]


Alain Visser  1:05:51

Thank you very much. It’s been a real pleasure. [1:05:54]  [01:22:59.25]


Total Time 30:50

Alain Visser | Founder and CEO of Lynk & Co

Alain Visser | Founder and CEO of Lynk & Co

Alain Visser is a man devoid of restraint when it comes to voicing an opinion or two on the status quo. Motivated in changing the way global manufacturers and dealership networks work, visionary Visser is pathing the way forward for the world’s fastest growing brand. Aiming to make mobility an accessible, viable and ultra-modern norm. Before heading up the charge to change the way the world views mobility forever at Lynk & Co, Alain served as Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Customer Service at Volvo Cars, globally. Alain also worked at General Motors for eight years. His roles there included Chief Marketing Officer and Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Aftersales at Opel/Vauxhall. Alain was also a Member of the Board of Adam Opel AG. Before that he spent 17 years at Ford Motor Company. Born in Belgium, Alain started his career in the automobile industry in 1986, he holds a Master’s of Science from the University of Antwerp, as well as an MBA from Duke University in North Carolina, and speaks six languages, including Italian, English, French and German.

Ed Bernardon, Vice President Strategic Automotive Initiatives – Host

Ed Bernardon, Vice President Strategic Automotive Initiatives – Host

Ed is currently VP Strategic Automotive Initiatives at Siemens Digital Industries Software. Responsibilities include strategic planning and business development in areas of design of autonomous/connected vehicles, lightweight automotive structures and interiors. He is also responsible for Future Car thought leadership which includes hosting the Future Car Podcast and development of cross divisional projects. Previously he was a founding member of VISTAGY that developed light-weight structure and automotive interior design software acquired by Siemens in 2011, he previously directed the Automation and Design Technology Group at MIT Draper Laboratory.  Ed holds an M.S. in mechanical engineering from MIT, B.S. in mechanical engineering from Purdue, and MBA from Butler.

The Future Car Podcast Podcast

The Future Car Podcast

Transportation plays a big part in our everyday life and with autonomous and electric cars, micro-mobility and air taxis to name a few, mobility is changing at a rate never before seen. On the Siemens Future Car Podcast we interview industry leaders creating our transportation future to inform our listeners in an entertaining way about the evolving mobility landscape and the people that are helping us realize it. Guests range from C-Level OEM executives, mobility startup founders/CEO’s, pioneers in AI law, Formula 1 drivers and engineers, Smart Cities architects, government regulators and many more. Tune in to learn what will be in your mobility future.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at https://blogs.sw.siemens.com/podcasts/the-future-car/ed-bernardon/changing-face-of-mobility-alain-visser/