Geely's Volvo Cars has delayed plans to start building a premium Lynk & CO PHEV model at its plant in Ghent, Belgium at the end of 2019 due to increased economic uncertainty, a spokesman told the Reuters news agency.

The new brand is co-owned by Volvo Cars owner Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and its two carmakers Volvo and Geely Auto. It began sales in China last year with Europe set to follow in 2019, and the United States in 2020, the report noted.

The spokesman told Reuters the decision would neither impact employment in Ghent nor Lynk & CO's plans to begin selling vehicles in Europe.

Since November 2017, Lynk & CO has launched three models in China: the 01 and 02 compact crossovers and the 03 compact sedan. The 01 also offers a plug-in hybrid version - the models share platform with Volvo's XC40.

Under the original Volvo plan, the PHEV would be assembled in Ghent in 2019. The vehicle is expected on sale in Europe market in 2020. 

Reuters noted economic growth was slowing in Europe, China and other key markets in part because of rising interest rates and the impact of trade disputes between the US and its key trading partners.