It’s almost impossible to hear a major speech by someone of importance in the auto industry these days without the term “sustainability” cropping up at least once or twice. The problem, at least as far as Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson is concerned, is many manufacturers are just paying lip service to sustainability and it’s really nothing more than a box-ticking exercise. Volvo is therefore updating its business model to meet the needs of a rapidly changing world, and Samuelsson is calling on the rest of the car industry to follow Volvo’s lead and do the same.
Speaking in his capacity as host of the bi-annual meeting of the UN Global Compact Nordic Network in Gothenburg, Mr. Samuelsson told delegates that customer expectations and demands are changing and that the auto industry simply has to change with them. As well as pursuing sustainability being the right thing to do, Samuelsson believes it also represents a significant business opportunity for those companies that get it right.
Samuelsson explains, “Our customers want safer, more sustainable and convenient cars. We can meet that demand, be a force for change and grow our business at the same time. I am confident that our next generation of fully autonomous, electrified and connected vehicles will help make the cities of the future cleaner, safer and smarter.”
At the heart of Volvo’s corporate strategy is the understanding that the internal combustion engine now has serious limitations as far as the sustainable future of motoring is concerned, so the Swedish manufacturer is embracing an ambitious target for electrification of its range. Samuelsson believes electrification not only represents a way of protecting the environment and making people’s lives better and safer, but that it also makes excellent business sense too.
Volvo is now committed to there being up to one million electrified Volvos on the roads by as soon as 2025, and for its manufacturing operations to be entirely climate-neutral by the same timetable. The company is also going even bigger on safety than it’s already renowned for by aiming for a target where no one should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo by 2020.
Good progress is already being made by Volvo as CO2 emissions from its European manufacturing facilities have fallen by 70 percent since 2004, six plug-in hybrids are already in its range, and plans are already in place to make every new model available as an electrified vehicle. – AFP Relaxnews