Despite coronavirus, Volvo sticks to fleet electrification plans

The automaker Volvo resumed automotive production at its Swedish parent plant in Torslanda last Monday (April 20). After a brief interruption due to the global corona pandemic, the reopening took place in consultation with the responsible unions and with the highest possible level of health protection. The employees at the headquarters in Gothenburg also return to the offices of the premium car manufacturer. Both the plant and the offices have been prepared accordingly in the past few weeks in order to provide the best possible protection for all employees.

In addition to its own measures, Volvo Cars is also in a constant and close dialogue with all partners and suppliers. This should reduce interruptions in the supply chain so that production can continue without major problems. The production volume in Torslanda is adjusted to the current market demand and existing orders.

“We have a responsibility towards our employees and suppliers to restart operations as soon as the situation allows it. To help society, we need to find ways to restart operations in a safe manner while protecting the health of people and their jobs.” – Håkan Samuelsson, President and CEO of Volvo Cars

Before the employees returned, all facilities were or will be thoroughly cleaned. The sanitary and cleaning routines are intensified again, at the main entrances there are voluntary controls of temperature and oxygen saturation (pulse oximeter). In the past few weeks, every single work station in the Torslanda plant has also been checked from the point of view of health and safety: wherever social distancing is not possible, appropriate protective measures have been taken.

All protective measures in the Volvo office buildings and canteens in Sweden have also been adapted in accordance with the recommendations. Among other things, the distance between the desks has been increased and the number of people who can stay in the meeting rooms and canteens at the same time has been limited.

“We will not compromise on our electrification strategy”
The coronavirus pandemic continues to send shock waves through all industries. The automotive world is no exception. For manufacturers, the question now is whether they should postpone planned new electric car models or stick to plans. Volvo has opted for the latter, as Wired reports: According to this, Volvo has stated that the entire range will be either purely electric or at least hybridized by 2025, as previously planned. “We will not compromise on our electrification strategy,” said Mårten Levenstam, the company’s strategy manager, in early April. “Electrification is Volvo’s way and we will continue our plans to electrify our product range .”

The company launched its first electric car last year, the XC40 Recharge. Hybrid and plug-in options are also available for most models in Volvo’s product range. Polestar, Volvo’s upscale performance brand, is about to release its sporty all-electric sedan.

Levenstam says there are no changes in Volvo’s overall electrical strategy. Due to the spread of the corona virus, “a weakening of the market and production disruptions with negative effects on our results in the first half of the year” are imminent. However, the manufacturer continues to invest in new technologies and products to “secure its long-term future.”

Contact the author: