Volvo to launch mobility brand M in Sweden and US, backed by machine learning engine
Car maker Volvo is to launch a new mobility brand, M, starting in Sweden and the US in the spring of 2019. The new enterprise will offer personalised mobility services, including on-demand access to hire cars, based on a proprietary machine learning platform.
Volvo described the service as an up-market brand, distinguished from current mobility offers that “mainly offer alternatives to a taxi or public transit.” Further detail of how M will make use of data analytics to “learn about its user’s needs, preferences and habits,” and prescribe mobility services is unclear. The service will “ask users about their specific needs instead of merely informing them where they can pick up a car,” Volvo said.
Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars, said: “Volvo Cars is becoming more than just a car company. We recognise urban consumers are rethinking traditional car ownership. M is part of our answer. We are evolving to become a direct-to-consumer services provider.”
Bodil Eriksson, chief executive of Volvo Car Mobility, commented: “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.”
M will be based in Stockholm, i and integrate Sunfleet, Volvo’s car-sharing business in Sweden, which claims 500,000 annual transactions, 1,700 cars, and a team of digital software engineers. The service will be made available to existing Sunfleet customers at launch, starting with beta-testing of the service this autumn.
Samuelsson said: “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 5 million direct consumer relationships by the middle of the next decade.”