Volvo Says Younger Buyers Demand Better Technology

Technology / 5 Comments

The Swedish carmaker has a plan to address this.

Apparently, Volvo doesn't think models like the V60 Recharge lean hard enough into technology. Speaking at the Financial Times' Future of the Car Summit, Volvo CEO Jim Rowan said that the brand needs to step its tech up to draw in the next generation of buyers. He specifically referenced Generation Z, the group of children born from 1997-2012.

Rowan called them "digital natives born into a digital world," and went on to say that this generation of car buyers will expect more technology than anyone has up until this point. Rowan was also key to emphasize what he called "seamless connectivity" in models like the Volvo XC60 Recharge.

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In short, Rowan believes that every new Volvo model will need technology to meet this new generation of buyers' expectations. To him, that means these new buyers "expect connectivity and they expect services to be available seamlessly between the car, the home, and the phone." Additionally, he was very adamant that none of those features will be enough. Instead, Volvo's CEO says that features like Android Auto and Apple Carplay are the bare minimum.

"None of that will be a wow factor," he said. The Volvo boss went on to use Spotify as an example. If you're someone who "leaves your home listening to something on Spotify and you go into your car and it starts to play and you think 'wow, that's cool', well, I'm afraid digital natives don't think like that. They expect that."

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In many ways, Rowan is right. Technology is hugely influential in today's auto market, from basic economy cars all the way up to the fastest of the fast. Each car makes a point of using technology to show consumers why they should buy. As for Volvo, Rowan said that the brand needs to offer choices for how Volvo models are owned, rather than a traditional cash purchase or lease.

Rowan said he sees potential in subscriptions, which the Swedish automaker already dabbles in, as well as "fractional ownership." Unfortunately, he doesn't elaborate on that, but it sounds like Rowan was perhaps referencing leasing, which is one of the more traditional ways into the seat of a Volvo. No matter how these cars are owned by Gen Z, they'll expect unprecedented levels of tech in them, and it sounds to us like Volvo is ready for it.

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