Volvo Cars acquires control of its China joint ventures for SEK2.2bn
Volvo Cars has taken control of its three joint venture operations in China for SEK2.2bn in order to more accurately reflect its growing presence in the world’s largest car market.
Volvo Cars now owns 50 per cent of its China joint ventures alongside Geely Holdings. These joint ventures include its car manufacturing facilities in Chengdu and Daqing, its engine manufacturing facility in Zhangjiakou and its research and development centre in Shanghai.
The move allows Volvo to fully consolidate its China joint ventures, providing a more accurate financial and operational picture of the company as it continues to expand in China. The company’s interim financial results announced today are the first to incorporate the China joint ventures.
“The incorporation of the Chinese entities is an important step towards the long term objectives to capture the growth and sourcing potential in China,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President and Chief Executive.
Volvo Cars buys 100 per cent of Polestar
Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, has acquired 100 per cent of Polestar, the Swedish high performance car company, including the Polestar brand. Polestar will now be used as the model name for special high performance Volvos.
Polestar will also in future utilise Volvo’s twin engine electrification technology to develop next generation performance cars.
Volvo is the largest manufacturer of plug in hybrid cars in Europe and leader in advanced vehicle electrification technology. Volvo currently develops and manufactures some of the most powerful, most environmentally-friendly hybrid engines in the automotive industry.
Volvo and Polestar share a long history. They have been working in motor sport since 1996 and in recent years signed a cooperation agreement to jointly develop Polestar versions of Volvo cars that combine a comfortable Volvo driving experience with a very high level of power and handling.
“Driving a Volvo Polestar is a special experience. We have decided to bring this experience to more Volvo drivers, placing the full resources of Volvo behind the development of Polestar as the model name for our high performance cars,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars.
In 2015, Volvo expects to sell 750 Polestar versions of the V60 wagon and S60 sedan globally. Polestar sales are forecast to increase to between 1,000 and 1,500 cars a year in the medium term under Volvo’s ownership.
The Polestar brand is already firmly established internationally through the sale of Polestar-branded Volvos. Volvo will also benefit from the sale of aftermarket Polestar performance optimisation kits for existing Volvos.
No financial details of the deal have been disclosed. Existing Polestar Performance employees will become Volvo employees.
The Polestar racing team will remain under the control of Christian Dahl, the former owner of Polestar, and will be renamed. The Polestar brand will continue to work alongside Christian Dahl.
“We are extremely satisfied with the way the performance business with Volvo has developed. But we are a racing team first and foremost. This is an opportunity to return our full attention to our core business – to develop and race Volvo cars,” said Christian Dahl.
Volvo Cars adds a little luxury with Excellence Child Seat Concept
Volvo Cars’ design team has completely re-imagined how children could travel safely in cars in the future. The move follows the Shanghai reveal of the XC90 Excellence and the Lounge Console Concept, which marked a bold and luxurious step forward for the Swedish car brand.
“We started by asking ourselves if we could make life easier for parents and safer for their children when it comes to the child seat experience. We focused on three key benefits – making it easier to get the child into and out of the child seat from an ergonomic and comfort perspective, providing the child with a safe rearward facing seating position that enables it to keep eye-contact with either the driver or the rear passenger and of course including enough storage for those vital child accessories, such as diapers, bottles, wipes, and so on,” said Tisha Johnson, Chief Designer Interiors at Volvo Cars Concept and Monitoring Centre.
According to Tisha Johnson the idea originated in a conversation with Volvo Cars’ owner Li Shufu when he reviewed the XC90 Excellence Lounge Console Concept earlier this year and thought about how else the space left by removing a front passenger seat could be used. The design team at Volvo Cars took on the challenge and in the process re-imagined the way in which small children can travel.
The resulting concept enables the parent to swivel the seat counter-clockwise when seating the child and then lock the seat in a rearward facing position. The concept also provides storage for small items beside the seat and a storage space underneath for diapers, blankets, or other larger items and enough space for a tote bag at the front of the seat under the dashboard.
The Excellence Child Seat Concept, which also provides a function to help small children safely lean back and sleep, is based on Volvo’s clear safety position; that small children should travel rearward facing as long as possible (at least up to the age of 3 or 4). This is primarily due to the lack of muscular strength in the necks of small children and the disproportionate head size and weight* in relation to the body.
“For us the safety, convenience, and emotional factors outweigh everything else. Being able to maintain eye contact with your child from the rear seat , or being able to keep a bottle warm in the heated cup holders in the XC90 Excellence, would go a long way towards making life easier for parents taking their small child on a trip. Such alternative seating arrangements will become increasingly important as we move towards autonomous vehicles,” added Tisha Johnson.
The Excellence Child Seat Concept is a clear example of how Volvo Cars’ Design Team is meeting the challenge of adding a luxury touch to the Swedish car maker’s portfolio.
“We have been investigating the nature of progressive luxury for some time and we see a direct connection between luxury and emotional wellbeing. So we have taken the next step in redefining how the interior of a car can be used to suit our customers’ needs. We have always placed a great deal of importance on child safety, but this takes things to the next level,” concluded Tisha Johnson.