Geely’s high-end car brand Lynk & Co will be the first sub-brand from Geely to incorporate an in-car operating system called Flyme Auto in its upcoming sports utility vehicle called the 08, the brands announced on March 24. Flyme is developed by Xingji Meizu, a company established by Geely’s founder after Geely acquired smartphone brand Meizu last July.
Why it matters: Lynk’s use of the Meizu operating system is the result of Geely’s long-term effort to develop more car technology in-house. The collaboration will be a test for both brands — Geely and Meizu — with the former focusing on building its software self-sufficiency and the latter looking to revive its diminishing smartphone business by testing its system on its new owner.
Details: The operating system, Flyme Auto, is built jointly by Meizu and Ecarx (an auto tech startup backed by Geely). It is an all-new digital cockpit and infotainment system based on the electronic architecture of Meizu.
- The news was made public by Ecarx’s chief executive Shen Ziyu who made the announcement at a corporate event on Friday in the central city of Wuhan. He also added that Lynk & Co’s 08 crossovers would be the first model to use Flyme and Ecarx’s Antora 1000 Pro supercomputer platform.
- Shen said he expected the Lynk & Co 08 crossover, scheduled for release Thursday, to be a flagship example to automakers of how Ecarx could empower the development of in-car technology ranging from autonomous driving to video streaming.
Context: Geely made its first foray into the Chinese smartphone market in late 2021, hiring talent from domestic electronics companies such as ZTE and Xiaomi, and setting up a venture called Xingji Shidai in which chairman Li holds a 55% share. Xingji Shidai acquired the majority stake in Chinese phone maker Meizu last July, TechCrunch reported.
- Many Chinese automakers have been using high-performance chips from US chip giants Nvidia and Qualcomm for their automated driving systems and car dashboards. Some models of Geely’s Lynk have also used Qualcomm. These supply routes are now threatened by US restrictions on chip exports to China. EV upstarts Nio, Xpeng Motors, and Li Auto are also developing chips in-house to ensure their supply of the key components.