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LA show: Volvo cuts the cars

Volvo dispenses with cars at its LA show stand as it focuses on new tech

22 Nov 2018

VOLVO has found a way to cut through the publicity noise surrounding motor shows: turn up with no cars.
The Chinese-owned Swedish car-maker has decided to devote its Los Angeles motor show stand to its role in the future of mobility rather than shiny new metal.
Visitors to the stand next week will be confronted with a centrepiece of vertical wooden poles with letters (in blonde wood – very Swedish) spelling out: This is not a car.
Other sections of the stand will be dedicated to interactive displays showing Volvo’s vision for car connectivity, car sharing, in-car delivery, autonomous driving and car subscription services.
Volvo Cars head of product strategy Marten Levenstam said that by calling the LA show Automobility LA, the organisers had recognised the disruption affecting the motor industry.
“We want to demonstrate that we got the memo and start a conversation about the future of automobility,” he said. “So instead of bringing a concept car, we talk about the concept of a car.
“We will not win the ‘car of the show’ award this year, but we are comfortable with that. Because this is not a car show.”
At least Volvo turned up to the LA show – it gave the recent Paris show a complete miss, in company with a large number of fellow car-makers such as Ford, Opel, Volkswagen, Bentley, Rolls-Royce and McLaren.
Increasingly, car-makers are looking to shows such as the annual Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to reveal off technologies rather than whole cars.
Back by cash-up Chinese manufacturer Geely, Volvo has embraced new technologies, saying that by the middle of next decade, half of its car production volume will be dedicated to electric vehicles and one third will be autonomous.
Volvo Cars chief executive Håkan Samuelsson said: “Our industry is changing. Rather than just building and selling cars, we will really provide our customers with the freedom to move in a personal, sustainable and safe way.
“We offer our customers access to a car, including new attractive services whenever and wherever they want it.”
Volvo recently showed of an all-electric driverless concept vehicle, the 360c, to showcase its ideas for a future autonomous vehicle suitable for intercity travel.
The pod-like vehicle has four seats for normal commuting, but the seats can convert into a bed for overnight trips.

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