Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, is to set up a new shared mobility business unit as part of a broad expansion of its car sharing and mobility services strategy, it announced earlier this week.
The new business unit will be based around Sunfleet, one of the world’s first car sharing companies that has been operated by Volvo since 1998. Based in Sweden, Sunfleet has around 50,000 subscribers generating approximately 250,000 transactions in more than 50 Swedish cities.
While Sunfleet will form the core of the new business, Volvo said that it will in future be expanded into new global markets and provide an entirely new range of mobility services to meet changing consumer expectations around how they own and engage with cars.
“Private car ownership will not disappear, but as an automaker we need to embrace the fact that it will reduce and – more importantly – change. We have a proven and profitable concept in our home market which we intend to leverage as we develop a global concept,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars.
Full details of Volvo Cars’ revamped shared mobility strategy will be announced in coming months, but the company intends to complement current and traditional car ownership models with a range of on demand mobility solutions. Flexibility, ease of use and personalization are to be critical success factors.
The chief executive of the new business will be Bodil Eriksson, currently vice president Product, Marketing and Communications at Volvo Car USA and former senior vice president corporate communications.
“Today’s notion of mobility and car ownership is changing. By recognising this fundamental and rapid shift in individual mobility behaviour and responding to it, we ensure that Volvo will continue to be relevant in the eyes of the consumer,” said Mr Samuelsson.
- Volvo’s new mobility division will be built around its existing Sunfleet brand.