Volvo Cars says its newly launched brand, simply called M, will expand its global mobility operations by providing dependable, on-demand access to cars and services through an intuitive app.
M will personalize the customer relationship by learning about its user’s needs, preferences and habits.
Debuting in Sweden and the U.S. in spring 2019, M is a wholly owned, standalone entity within Volvo Car Group that aims to deliver a better alternative to car ownership for urban and metro consumers.
M’s proprietary technology platform will advance a new generation of consumer mobility services that provide a more intuitive user experience. The new brand draws on two decades of data and experience from pioneering car-sharing service Sunfleet.
President and CEO Håkan Samuelsson says Volvo Cars is becoming more than just a car company.
“We recognize that urban consumers are rethinking traditional car ownership.,” he says in a statement. “M is part of our answer. We are evolving to become a direct-to-consumer services provider under our new mission ‘Freedom to Move’.”
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.
Volvo Car Mobility CEO Bodil Eriksson says services now available mainly offer alternatives to a taxi or public transit.
“We’re focused on the way people use the cars they own, which sets us apart,” Eriksson says. “We aim to provide a real alternative to that experience. It should enable us to live life on our terms, getting things done and maximizing precious time. We see the opportunity to offer a premium experience.”
Sunfleet is Sweden’s leading car-sharing company 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 current Sunfleet members.
“Mobility is undergoing a fundamental transformation, and Volvo Cars is leading that change,” Samuelsson says. “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.”
Stockholm, Sweden, will serve as M’s development base. Extensive testing is under way there, with Eriksson saying a broader Beta test will take place this autumn.