at Volvo Car's Headquarters

For our last business visit in Sweden, we ended with a bang visiting the Volvo Cars manufacture and headquarters in Gothenburg where all the magic happens. It was definitely a very memorable visit for a lot of us primarily because we got to see behind the scenes of the whole car making process. We started off our day by visiting Volvo Cars which has been separate than Volvo Group since Ford’s acquisition in 1999. It was later bought by the Chinese in 2010 who are still the current owners. We got an exclusive tour of the factories in which they build the iconic Swedish car from start to finish. They use a lot of automated robots to do heavy duty work, however, they heavily rely on humans to put together a lot of parts to ensure a flawless product consistently. As we went through the tour, we noticed a notable amount of woman and ethnicities working the factory. Later in the tour, it was mentioned how part of the companies goals is to be more diverse. Volvo’s cars have had the reputation of being one of the safest cars- in the tour it was explaining the secret sauce in how they do it. They take various measures to ensure the cars live up to the safety expectation. One notable practice they do to ensure safety is fairly extensive impact testing. They have recently been shifting to having the majority of their cars be hybrid plug-ins. Volvo has also pledged that all the cars they will be manufacturing will be electric by 2040. Even though Volvo Cars is technically no longer a Swedish company, it still embodies its core value that prioritizes sustainability. 

Later that day, we got to meet with Volvo Group's President and CEO, Martin Lundstedt, at the headquarters in Gothenburg as well. He gave us an overview of the companies goals, successes, and innovation. It was very interesting learning about the company’s products because we often don’t see them here in the States. 

Volvo group currently has a B2B model meaning they have a business to business model which primarily differentiates them from Volvo Cars. They offer a variety of vehicles including Volvo trucks, Construction Equipment, Busses, Marine Penta Boat, and Autonomous Vehicles. Volvo group is currently producing in 19 countries globally. They also have 95,000 employees and are placed in 190 markets. They prioritize highly prioritize innovation – investing $2.5 – 2.7 million in R&D yearly. One key global trend that is taking place is decarbonization which Volvo has made a priority in order to stay relevant and competitive. They’ve done this by efficiency improvements and CO2 emission standards in driveline. Volvo Group is aiming to shift out of diesel by 2040 part of their pledge to sustainability.

 Martin Lundstedt, Volvo Group's President and CEO