Volvo Flies BEV Flag at Davos Despite Weak Market

Volvo CEO claims brand's premium status explains strong growth of its electric products.

Paul Myles, European Editor

January 18, 2024

2 Min Read
Jim Rowan Volvo
Volvo Car's CEO Jim Rowan committed to BEV growth.

Volvo Cars CEO Jim Rowan reiterates the automaker’s faith in the roll-out of battery-electric vehicles in contrast to other major automakers taking a more cautious view.

Addressing the Reuters Global Markets Forum at the annual global economic conference in Davos, Switzerland, Rowan says Volvo Cars remains confident of “tremendous growth” in the BEV market.

He stresses that Volvo’s premium product offering has been the main source of its sales growth while other brands, including European market leader Tesla, have to resort to price cutting to boost sales. Volvo hopes to see its BEV products achieve half of its global sales volume by 2026 and to become an exclusively BEV manufacturer by 2030.

Rowan insists the automaker has seen particularly strong demand for BEVs in Europe. He adds, “We have much more pricing power and people have got more disposable income, so they can afford it if they want to drive an EV.”

Yet, last year several automakers blamed slower-than-expected demand from consumers on a lack of charging infrastructure, declining government subsidies and supply chain issues. On this last issue even Volvo had to join Tesla in halting vehicle production, albeit only for three days at its Belgium plant because of gearbox delivery delays owing to the Red Sea attacks on shipping by Yemen rebels.

Renault’s CEO Luca de Meo told WardsAuto at last September’s IAA Mobility auto show in Munich that it is keeping its powertrain options open in the face of sluggish BEV demand. He explains: “Most (automakers) think that they will not invest in combustion engines but that gives us a good opportunity. You can have a ‘last man standing’ situation where perhaps you have a very good business. It’s possible that combustion engines won’t be very popular in Europe in 2035 but, for sure, they will be everywhere around the planet. Even the Chinese don’t give up on the combustion engine.

"We can push combustion engines to new heights, change the fuels and even use hydrogen – there are plenty of possibilities including e-fuels. We need to be a little bit more flexible but we will not be giving up on EVs.”


About the Author(s)

Paul Myles

European Editor, Informa Group

Paul Myles is an award-winning journalist based in Europe covering all aspects of the automotive industry. He has a wealth of experience in the field working at specialist, national and international levels.

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