Volvo to Launch New On-Demand Mobility Brand Called ‘M'
【Summary】Volvo Cars has announced the launch of new on-demand mobility brand the named ‘M’, that will expand the company’s global mobility operations by providing on-demand access to cars and services using a smartphone app.
Volvo Cars has announced the launch of new on-demand mobility brand the named ‘M', that will expand the company's global mobility operations by providing on-demand access to cars and services using a smartphone app.
The M brand is a way for Volvo to address the expected decline of personal car ownership and revenue for automakers, as on-demand mobility services such as Uber and Lyft allow people to get around in urban areas without owning a car.
Volvo says the M service will be ‘smart' and learn about its user's needs, preferences and habits, personalizing the service for each customer. The service with first debut in Sweden, followed by the U.S. in the spring of 2019.
"Volvo Cars is becoming more than just a car company. We recognize that urban consumers are rethinking traditional car ownership. M is part of our answer. We are evolving to become a direct-to-consumer services provider under our new mission ‘Freedom to Move'," said Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo Cars president and chief executive.
According to Volvo, M is developing proprietary learning technology that asks users about their specific needs–instead of just instructing them where they can pick up a car.
"The services currently available mainly offer alternatives to a taxi or public transit," said Bodil Eriksson, CEO of Volvo Car Mobility. "We're focused on the way people use the cars they own, which sets us apart. We aim to provide a real alternative to that experience. It should enable us to live life on our terms, getting things done and maximizing precious time. We see the opportunity to offer a premium experience."
M draws on 20 years of customer behavior and data collected from Sunfleet, Volvo Car Group's car-sharing service, which is similar to the pilot launched by Mercedes Benz, that allows customers to access to different Mercedes models as part of a monthly subscription plan.
Sunfleet processes 500,000 annual transactions with its fleet of 1,700 cars. It will be fully integrated into M in 2019, making the service available to all existing Sunfleet members.
"Mobility is undergoing a fundamental transformation and Volvo Cars is leading that change. The launch of M creates new sources of revenue for Volvo Cars and will be integral to the company's ambition to build more than 5 million direct consumer relationships by the middle of the next decade," said Mr Samuelsson.
"Stockholm, Sweden will serve as M's base of development and where we already conduct extensive testing. A broader beta test will take place this autumn," he added.
Further details about the M service will be released later this year.
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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