Volvo Coming To LA Auto Show Without Any Cars

2018 LA Auto Show

‘This is not a car show’, says Volvo as they head to car show.

Yesterday Volvo revealed its weird ‘this is not a phone’ teaser image ahead of the LA Auto Show, sparking wild speculation about what it all meant. Today, the Swedish carmaker has revealed its master plan and we finally get to see what they were on about.

For at this year’s LA Auto Show instead of showcasing an exciting new concept car or perhaps a new production-ready model, Volvo will be displaying the words ‘This Is Not A Car’ on its stand instead.

Confused? Why not let Mårten Levenstam, the man in charge of product strategy at Volvo Cars explain: “By calling the trade show Automobility LA, the organizers have recognized the disruption affecting our industry, we want to demonstrate that we got the memo and start a conversation about the future of automobility. 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.”

We don’t want to say we told you so but as soon as we saw that earlier teaser image we did mention that automakers are currently in the process of transforming themselves from automobile manufacturers to providers of comprehensive mobility solutions. Volvo is the first big manufacturer to embrace this move and the LA Auto Show is a great place to start.

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Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive of Volvo Cars, also pointed out that in addition to building and selling cars, in the future they will be providing 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.”

In addition to the ‘this is not a car’ sign, some of these new services will be on display at the Volvo stand with interactive demonstrations of connectivity services, car sharing, autonomous driving tech, and Volvo’s car subscription service offering.

A lot of these new services will be done with the help of strategic partnerships, Volvo has already begun work with Amazon, Google, Nvidia as well as smaller startups to realize its goals. Volvo predicts that by the middle of the next decade half of all cars will be fully electric with one third being fully autonomous. It estimates that by then it will have established over 5 million direct consumer relationships. Hopefully, it will still be in the business of building cars, something it is rather good at too.

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