Changing customer demands guide Volvo toward an electrified future

Changing customer demands guide Volvo toward an electrified future
Swedish automaker Volvo recently shared with the world an 18-minute video in which they outline plans for the coming years, where electrification and changing customer demands will play a major role in what Volvo sells, and how they sell it.

If you’re an electric-curious shopper who figures a full-electric vehicle might be making its way to your driveway in the coming months or years, it’s an interesting take on what some of the products and shopping process might look like.

Below, I’ll highlight some key takeaways from Volvo’s latest announcement about how they’ll transition to an all-electric motoring future, and how keeping their eyes on constantly-changing customer demands is helping pave the way there.

Volvo updates the 2022 XC60 with Google apps and services

“Everything is changing – but what at the end prevails is convenience” says Lex Kerssemakers, head of Global Commercial Operations at Volvo.

“We adapt, and we embrace the change. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it will probably happen faster than what we’re used to in the automotive industry”.

Last year, 1 in 3 Volvo’s sold in Europe was a plug-in hybrid. Volvo calls these models ‘Recharge’. By 2025, Volvo predicts that that the Electric Vehicle (EV) will make up half their sales.

“By 2030, all our cars will be electric vehicles” adds Volvo Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson.

The customers driving this new growth in EV’s put a high value on convenience. That’s where online sales come in – and Volvo is promising a real online experience, not a digital wholesale process. Customers will be able to order custom-configured cars to match their tastes, or choose pre-configured models for more rapid delivery.

“Simple, intuitive, sold with transparent pricing, easy to order, attractive cars” comments Kerssemakers, adding that the online experience will work in parallel with retail partners for a flawless online and offline experience.

“Online and off-line need to be fully and seamlessly integrated. Wherever the customer is in their journey – online, in a showroom, in a Volvo Studio, or driving the car – the customer experience needs to be top-notch.”

An extensive care package adds further convenience, bundling the vehicle purchase with insurance, maintenance, warranty, and even home-charging installation with just a few clicks, from anywhere in the world.

Linn Fortgens is the Head of Sustainability and Procurement at Volvo. Among her duties? Satisfying company values and shopper demands by ensuring all materials used in Volvo products are sourced as responsibly as possible.

“Let’s take the battery as an example” she explains.

“We’re dealing with a lot of critical raw materials that need to be responsibly sourced. So we’ve partnered up with our battery suppliers and implemented block-chain technology for cobalt to secure it, so we know where the material is coming from – all the way down to the mine. We couple that with audits and on-the-ground monitoring to ensure we have responsible sourcing in place.”

Further, taking a stand on animal welfare, Volvo says all upcoming full-electric models will be sold leather-free.

The incoming Volvo C40 is the first step forward in the journey. Volvo’s first electric-only model, the C40 will also be the first Volvo to be sold exclusively online. Look for twin-motor drive, and a 78 kWh battery that can charge to 80 percent in about 40 minutes. Volvo anticipates the range around 420 kilometers, and says that figure that will improve over time as the vehicle’s software is updated over the air.

“The day a brand new car leaves the factory is no longer necessarily its finest” says Henrik Green, Volvo’s Chief Technology Officer.

The C40 shows where Volvo is going: all-electric, leather-free, available exclusively online with an available care package, continuously updated, and delivered quickly with an unlimited data plan built right in.
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