July 04, 2018
Volvo Cars Launches M Mobility brand
Services such as Netflix and Spotify are changing how we access entertainment and, similarly, mobility services is one of countless industries undergoing transformation due to people's changing view of access versus ownership.
"I have given up my own car and it's been a real wake-up call," said Bodil Eriksson, CEO of Volvo Car Mobility, talking about her team's preparation prior to the launch of M, the new brand from the wholly-owned and stand-alone company Volvo Car Mobility. "And as our team keeps personally testing providers in this market, we are learning about what can be better.
"The services currently available mainly offer alternatives to a taxi or public transport. 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 – 'My car sometimes.' 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", Bodil said.
M expands our Volvo Car Group's mobility and car-sharing business, to offer more ways for people to access our cars. Customers can use M for dependable on-demand and personal access to cars via an intuitive smartphone app. M's technology will understand the customer intent, which can range from spontaneous, semi-planned and planned needs. The services will debut in Sweden and the USA in the spring of 2019.
"Volvo Cars is becoming more than just a car company," Håkan Samuelsson said. "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.'
In addition to the development of proprietary technology that understands and asks users about their specific needs, M also draws on learnings and data from Sunfleet, our car-sharing pioneer. Sunfleet leads the car-sharing market in Sweden with 500,000 annual transactions and a fleet of 1,700 cars. Sunfleet will become part of M in 2019, making the service available to all existing Sunfleet members.
Customers can expect the level of services and personalisation to continue growing as M and its software development continues to gain insights into its customers' needs, preferences and habits.
According to Bodil, M will in future interact with the car itself, to personalise the driving experience; for example, the car seats, mirrors and other settings will automatically adjust to the customer – the proprietary element of the app software learns about its users. Each user's app will look different. M's high ambition is for the customer to get the feeling that the car understands them.
Bodil leads a team of 50 staff at M headquarters in Stockholm. Erik Jivmark, one of few team members from Volvo Cars, is leading the development team – all of them external and experienced software developers and builders of digital products, brought in from world-leading gaming and tech companies. M also have top talents from leading global mobility ventures, like the Head of Growth and CFO Marcus Spickermann.
"We have focused single-mindedly on the customer experience," Bodil said. "The development of the proprietary platform revolves around the team asking users about their specific needs. We're focused on three core elements: M must be dependable, personalised and must enrich everyday life."
Freedom to move
The launch of M coincides with the introduction of our new company mission, 'Freedom to Move,' which envisions a diverse business model for Volvo Car Group as a global mobility company. Volvo Cars, Polestar, Care by Volvo, M, plus stakes in Zenuity and LYNK & Co will collectively deliver a broader mix of revenue streams, expanding our Group's opportunities beyond the realm of a traditional car company. M will be integral to our ambition to build more than five million direct consumer relationships by the middle of next decade.
"For over 90 years we have been primarily a car maker. That is now changing," Håkan Samuelsson said. "We are fast evolving into a direct-to-consumer services provider with a clear mission: to give everyone freedom of movement in a safe, sustainable and personal way."