New mobility app launched by Volvo

04 July 2018

4 July 2018

Volvo has launched a new mobility brand, M, to provide on-demand access to cars and services through an intuitive app.

M will learn its users’ needs, preferences and habits to personalise the customer relationship. The manufacturer has stated that the service will debut in Sweden and the US in the spring of next year. There is no word yet as to when the app will be available in other markets.

′Volvo Cars is becoming more than just a car company. We recognise that urban consumers are rethinking traditional car ownership. M is part of our answer. We are evolving to become a direct-to-consumer services provider under our new mission ′Freedom to Move’,’ said Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo Cars President and Chief Executive.

M is developing proprietary learning technology that asks users about their specific needs instead of merely informing them where they can pick up a car.  

′The services currently available mainly offer alternatives to a taxi or public transit,’ 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.’

In addition to a team of experienced and sought-after digital software engineers and leading talent, M draws on 20 years of learnings and data from Sunfleet, Volvo Car Group’s car-sharing pioneer. Sunfleet is the leading car-sharing company in Sweden, with 500,000 annual transactions and a fleet of 1,700 cars. It will be fully integrated into M in 2019, making the service available to all existing Sunfleet members.

′Mobility is undergoing a fundamental transformation, and Volvo Cars is leading that change. The launch of M creates new sources of revenue for Volvo Cars and will be integral to the company’s ambition to build more than five million direct consumer relationships by the middle of the next decade,’ added Samuelsson.

′Stockholm, Sweden, will serve as M’s base of development and where we already conduct extensive testing. A broader Beta test will take place this autumn,’ said Eriksson.

Manufacturers are looking at a number of ways to protect their businesses as consumers start to move away from traditional ownership and instead embrace car-sharing and multi-ownership platforms. However, within the car-share market are a number of established names, such as Uber, while technology companies, including Google’s Waymo, are also looking to take a share of the sector. This competition has led to manufacturers developing technology and apps or collaborating their efforts.