Volvo Cars has launched a new mobility brand called M. Coming first to Sweden and the U.S. in spring 2019, it is an app-based service that offers on-demand cars and services.
M will, says the firm, therefore expand Volvo from merely being a car manufacturer into a fully-fledged mobility services provider. It is already offering subscriptions to cars through the app-based Care by Volvo service; Volvo M is a further development of this.
Volvo Cars president and chief executive Håkan Samuelsson said it was part of the firm’s answer to a new generation of motorists that don’t want to own cars. “We recognise that urban consumers are rethinking traditional car ownership… we are evolving to become a direct-to-consumer services provider under our new mission ‘Freedom to Move’.”
The Volvo M app is better than today’s services such as Uber or other on-demand mobility solutions, 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 maximising precious time. We see the opportunity to offer a premium experience.”
M will also provide Volvo Cars with a new revenue stream. Samuelsson hopes it will become a core part of his strategy to “build more than five million direct customer relationships” by 2025.
Volvo will beta-test M in Stockholm this autumn, he said. It is partnering with car-sharing company Sunfleet in Sweden, which will be fully integrated into M by 2019. Ahead of this, Volvo will reveal more details about the M service, including pricing and other functions.
Volvo M is just the latest example of how the firm is embracing new technology. Building upon Care by Volvo, it recently launched the hottest version of the new S60 only through the app (and it sold out in minutes). Volvo is also the first car company to offer test drives through Amazon Prime – a service so tempting, it recently had to bring it back by popular demand.