Volvo only wants to sell electric cars by 2030
The Swedish-Chinese car manufacturer is the first to formulate its ambitions so clearly. Moreover, in ten years’ time, sales should only be done online.
The Swedish car manufacturer Volvo only wants to sell electric cars by 2030. The company reported this on Tuesday. By then, the sale of Volvo’s must also be done completely online. In this way, the car brand wants to save costs and build a closer relationship with its customers.
In recent weeks, car brands such as Ford, General Motors and Jaguar have also made it clear that they want to make the switch to electric cars, but Volvo is the first to plan a global and complete switch. “The customer is always right,” said CEO Hakan Samuelsson on Tuesday. ‘But I am convinced that no customer wants an internal combustion engine in ten years’ time. That is why we choose to invest in the future instead of a shrinking activity. ‘
The customer is always right. But I am convinced that no customer wants an internal combustion engine in ten years’ time.
The decision is good news for the Belgian factory in Ghent, where Volvo’s only electric model already on the market – the XC40 Recharge – is being assembled. The second electric model, which will be officially presented later today, was also assigned to the Ghent factory at the beginning of this year. Volvo Ghent invested around 150 million euros in vehicle electrification and became a pioneer in the group with the construction of an advanced battery factory in 2020. The plan is to triple the high-tech assembly this year.
New commercial strategy
Today, hybrids and electric vehicles account for about 30 percent of sales in Europe, worldwide it is only about 17 percent. Volvo now wants to increase that share step by step. By 2025, it wants half of its fleet to be electric vehicles and the other half hybrid cars. The switchover must be complete by 2030.
The electric models will also be available online only, a new commercial strategy where Volvo will invest heavily in its online sales channels. Following the example of Tesla, the product range will be drastically simplified and ‘transparent fixed price models’ will be introduced.
The consequences for the personnel of the dealers, showrooms and other commercial activities are not yet entirely clear. ‘Those partners remain essential’, it sounds. The staff would take on a new role as ‘part of the customer experience’ and will ‘continue to perform a number of important services such as preparing, delivering and maintaining cars’.
The Chinese car brand Geely took over Volvo Cars in 2010 from the American Ford. At the beginning of this year, merger plans with the Swedish subsidiary were shelved, but the two companies announced that they would work more closely together in various areas, for example for electric and self-driving cars.