You can add another of the growing list of automakers planning to go all-electric and meet growing consumer demand. Volvo Cars has announced that its vehicles will also be all electric by the end of this decade, and the company anticipates growing its U.S. operations to make that happen.
Appearing on Yahoo Finance Live, Anders Gustafsson, President and CEO of Volvo Cars USA, said that the company plans to double or triple the size of its Ridgeville, South Carolina manufacturing plant to keep up with the growing demand for electric vehicles (EVs).
“We have had 100 percent growth [in the U.S.], the last five years, and we are planning for another 100 in the upcoming years,” he said. “We will go from quite low production capacity to the highest capacity ever in the U.S. market. Therefore, we need to recruit more colleagues, more resources.”
Taking measured steps toward the all-electric battle
Volvo is wed to electric vehicles. It started tripling its output in Europe earlier this year and plans on launching several fully electric cars. By 2025, it’s aiming for 50 percent of its global sales to consist of fully electric cars, with the other 50 percent being hybrids.
“It's very very tough to be kind of a number one or be good at two tasks at the same time. That's the reason why we will leave the development of combustion engines and go for a full focus on all our engineers into electrification,” Gustafsson said. “This is a very, very competitive industry.”
Moving the sales process online
Volvo is also intent on shaking up the market when it comes to buying one of its EVs. In a company announcement, it said it plans on “transform(ing) the current wholesale model by moving online and with strong customer relationships.”
Where does that leave its 2,300 local dealers around the world? Volvo says its dealers will remain a “crucial part” of the customer experience, focused on services such as selling, preparing, delivering, and servicing cars. As part of the shift in its sales approach, it will also expand its digital services to include sales, insurance, maintenance, and roadside assistance.