Volvo CEO Aims To Lure Younger Buyers With EX30 While Keeping The XC90 Around For Traditional Buyers

Electric Vehicles / Comments

A large part of his plan relies on the buying habits of Gen Z.

Volvo has big plans for its electric lineup and hopes to boost its global sales by 70% to 1.2 million vehicles by 2025, and the upcoming EX30, a small electric crossover, is set to play a more significant role.

In a recent interview with Automotive News, Volvo CEO Jim Rowan explained how the future of Volvo's electric offering would change the way the brand does business. The Swedish brand also has plans to incorporate more affordable vehicles aimed at Gen Z buyers while maintaining and upgrading more luxury-focused models such as the Volvo XC90.

Volvo recently unveiled the all-electric EX90, but sales of the existing XC90 will continue as long as it stays relevant.

2020-2023 Volvo XC90 Grill Volvo

Rowan, who took office in March of 2022, is determined to get sales back on track after a recent dip and will use the power of the Gen Z market to get the numbers back in line.

According to Rowan, 18 to 19-year-olds looking to get into the car market for the first time will be attracted to Volvo's authentic sustainability story, and the more affordable EX30 will lure in more first-time buyers than ever.

Rowan admitted that China's extensive lockdowns lowered demand in 2022 but says that the tide is shifting. "Demand is strong, and our order books worldwide are at record levels. That being said, we will keep a very close eye on consumer sentiment to see how that might change because of rising inflation," said Rowan.

He did mention that there aren't any cancellations in its order books worth being concerned about but notes that the UK is worth keeping an eye on. The UK is currently suffering from increased inflation compared to the rest of the world.

2021-2022 Volvo XC90 Recharge Front View Volvo

Volvo is currently selling close to 700,000 vehicles a year, intending to get that figure closer to 1.2 million in the near future. Volvo aims to achieve this by lowering the cost of its EVs and by offering entry-level models.

The EX30, for instance, will be smaller and provided with small to midsize batteries, which will cut costs. The fact that Volvo offers new car commitments of only three months should also attract more young buyers who like the flexibility and not having to commit to long-term contracts.

Rowan also expects younger buyers to use online showrooms more than actual dealerships. "They will look at an offer online, configure the car, then sign up for three months. And based on what we have seen from Care by Volvo, they will keep the subscriptions for much longer than three months because they like the flexibility," he said.

2020-2023 Volvo XC90 Rim Volvo

Volvo will still offer its range of high-end SUVs, and Rowan says that the range-topping XC90 will still receive some attention, despite the arrival of the electric EX90.

"It will continue to be a great car for us, especially since we have added the extended-range version of the plug-in hybrid variant. That gives you the option to have more electric range while still having the added level of certainty that comes with the gasoline engine.

So the XC90 will stay in the range for a while. That means it will get the attention it needs to make sure it remains a relevant part of the lineup." he said.

2020-2023 Volvo XC90 Dashboard Volvo

Price control and price parity between electric and gas-powered cars are also on the agenda for Volvo. Still, Rowan admits that the ongoing war in Ukraine and stubbornly high prices of raw materials keep EV costs high.

According to the CEO, new technologies, such as LFP (lithium iron phosphate), will further push down prices once the global economy has stabilized. To simplify its cars and cut costs, Rowan aims to use fewer ECUs in its cars and improve its use of chips and silicon.

"Having so many ECUs resulted in a bad architecture. What makes more sense is buying silicon from a company like Nvidia, which understands silicon better than Volvo or any car manufacturer does," he said.

As part of the road going forward, Volvo will also be investing a lot of time and energy into future-proofing its cars with technologies such as autonomous driving, but that is still a work in progress, according to the CEO. Volvo's future seems to rely on securing a younger market, stabilizing EV costs, and pushing forward with new technologies, which sounds pretty solid to us.

2020-2023 Volvo XC90 Interior Overview Volvo
Source Credits: Automotive News

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