Volvo Trucks recently made an announcement that it has agreed to acquire JMC Heavy Duty Vehicle Company in China.
JMC Heavy Duty Vehicle, which is a subsidiary of Jiangling Motors Company which includes a manufacturing site in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, China, was acquired for an amount of RMB 0.8 billion.
For customers in China
The objective is to start production of the new heavy-duty Volvo FH, Volvo FM and Volvo FMX trucks in Taiyuan for customers in China from the end of 2022.
Volvo Trucks has been active in the Chinese market since 1934. During the last couple of years, the strong growth of logistics services, including e-commerce, has led to a surge in the sales of Volvo trucks in the country.
In 2020, more than 4,500 heavy-duty Volvo trucks were imported and delivered to customers in China. In line with the long-term Volvo Group strategy, Volvo Trucks is therefore expanding its business operation in China.
“We are committed to shaping the future of sustainable transport solutions. With our long-standing presence in China, we are growing our sales, and we are expanding our strong network of sales and service points together with our private dealer partners.
Over the last couple of years, we have seen a fast development of the logistics markets and an increasing demand for our premium trucks and services.
To meet the demand from Chinese transport operators, the time is right for us to establish a regional value chain with our own heavy-duty truck manufacturing in China,” says Roger Alm, President Volvo Trucks.
Operations in Taiyuan
The operations in Taiyuan will include stamping, welding, manufacturing of cabs, painting and the final assembly of Volvo trucks.
After investment, within a few years, the plant will have the capacity to produce 15,000 Volvo trucks per year with the potential to increase the capacity further.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.
Volvo trucks are assembled in 13 countries across the globe. In 2020 approximately 94,000 Volvo trucks were delivered worldwide.
Five zero exhaust emission Volvo VNR Electric trucks are joining the New York City-based beer and beverage distributors’ fleet of more than 400 delivery trucks to service customers throughout New York City, Long Island, and the surrounding counties.
455 hp drivetrain
The VNR’s drivetrain is rated at 455 hp with up to 5,492 Nm of torque. This allows for quick starts and excellent responsiveness in the close quarters of urban delivery.
The fully-integrated driveline features Volvo’s two-speed I-Shift automated transmission for smooth acceleration. On highway the VNR Electric is capable of reaching speeds of 65 mph.
“By working together with customers like Manhattan Beer Distributors that are dedicated to reducing their environmental impact, Volvo Trucks has been able to make meaningful progress on the path toward widescale commercial deployment of VNR Electrics from coast to coast,” said Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America.
Level 3 DC fast charging
To support the charging of its battery-electric fleet, Manhattan Beer Distributors has installed three Level 3 DC fast chargers at its Bronx facility that can fully recharge its Volvo VNR Electric trucks up to 80 percent in 70 minutes.
Manhattan Beer Distributors’ battery-electric trucks were the first Volvo VNR Electric models to enter full serial production at Volvo Trucks’ New River Valley manufacturing plant in Dublin, Virginia, which assembles all Volvo trucks sold in North America.
Manhattan Beer Distributors
“As one of the largest beverage distributors in the U.S., Manhattan Beer Distributors recognizes the broad sustainability impact that we can make by eliminating our fleet’s tailpipe emissions,” said Simon Bergson, founder, president & CEO of Manhattan Beer Distributors.
“Volvo Trucks has long supported our sustainability goals and demonstrated that their low- and zero-emission truck lineup provides the safety, performance, and reliability we’ve come to expect.”
Volvo is currently testing its electric buses in warm climates as part of challenging test programmes in countries like Spain and Mexico, among other places.
For example, during 2020 the fully electric Volvo 7900 Electric bus was tested in Spanish cities, including Zaragoza, Santander and Madrid, where the ambient temperature during the test period sometimes exceeded 40°C.
Heat and battery usage
This made it possible to investigate in practice how the energy usage of the buses was affected by using the air conditioning to full capacity.
A Volvo 7900 Electric is currently also being tested in the busy Metrobus system in Mexico City. It will be in operation for six months and then the experiences from this trial period will be evaluated.
“As one of the leading global suppliers of solutions for electric mobility, we must be able to meet our customers’ requirements and expectations regardless of where they operate. That applies not only to environmental considerations but also availability, passenger comfort and safety.”
We test our products together with our customers in Arctic conditions and in warm climates to ensure that we have the best solutions for a range of different requirements,” says Marie Carlsson, Director Citymobility Business Development at Volvo Buses.
“Our buses performed well, and we were able to demonstrate that they are extremely reliable even in very hot climate conditions,” says Francisco Unda, Managing Director of Volvo Buses in Spain & Portugal. The cities of Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Bilbao, Seville, etc. are all expected to begin electrifying their public transport systems in the near future.
Various charging methods
“We at Volvo Buses are ready to offer electrified solutions with different charging methods and service packages to the cities that want to start the move towards more sustainable public transport,” says Francisco Unda.
“The results of the tests will pave the way for the rapid electrification of public transport throughout the world. We have turnkey solutions that include everything from quiet, zero-emission buses to the charging infrastructure and servicing. This means that we can help to improve the living environments and lay the foundations for cities all over the world to become more sustainable,” says Marie Carlsson.
Volvo Buses has already supplied more than 6 500 electrified buses to cities worldwide. Its product range includes self-charging hybrids and fully electric buses. In addition to the buses themselves, Volvo’s electric mobility offering includes battery optimisation, charging infrastructure, servicing and maintenance.
Starting on 1st July 2021, all new electric vehicles in the EU are required to emit a certain sound level when travelling at speeds below 20 km/h to make things safer, which is a problem for electric vehicles that have no engine to make any noise.
Coming back to the ruling by the EU, it was said that the sound level required depends on the speed and gets higher as it increases.
56 decibels minimum
For instance, at the maximum speed of 20 km/h, it should be at least 56 decibels. If the vehicle is too quiet, an external acoustic vehicle alerting system (AVAS) must be added.
So, to meet the new requirements, and at the same time maintain the benefits of lower noise levels that come with electric vehicles, Volvo Trucks has developed a unique set of sounds for its electric truck models.
The range of sounds is the result of thorough research and testing by the Volvo Group’s own acoustics experts.
“We are particularly proud to have developed high quality, premium sounds that are noticeable enough to warn people close to the truck, and yet still pleasant for the driver and other road users,” says Anna Wrige Berling.
Still quieter than conventional trucks
It is important to note that the trucks will still be much quieter than conventional trucks.
“The sounds are designed to not penetrate through walls. Our electric trucks will still allow for quiet nighttime deliveries and contribute to better working conditions for the drivers and a quieter, cleaner environment,” says Anna Wrige Berling.
The Volvo developed acoustic alert system for electric vehicles is actually not just one but four different sounds, informing people close by about what the truck is doing: moving forward, idling, reversing, etc. The sounds will vary in intensity, based on truck speed and will shift in frequency during acceleration and deceleration.
Six and counting
With the recently announced start of sales of three new heavy duty electric truck models – the Volvo FH, FM and FMX – Volvo Trucks now has an impressive line-up of six medium and heavy duty electric trucks.
This is currently the most complete commercial electric truck range in the industry.
“Electric trucks will be increasingly more common in traffic, and by adding the acoustic alert sound system to our electric vehicles, we are proud to be able to combine our exciting journey towards zero emissions with our longstanding zero accidents ambition,” states Anna Wrige Berling.
Volvo Cars today reported the best half-year results in terms of sales and operating profit in its 94-year history.
Sales volumes rebounded 41 per cent compared with the pandemic-affected period in 2020, but the company also saw strong growth of 12 per cent compared with the first six months of 2019.
775k cars in 12 months
The 12-month rolling sales volume is approximately 775,000 cars, just shy of the 800,000 target set 10 years ago.
“The company continued to grow strongly despite the industry-wide semiconductor shortage, but more importantly, we demonstrated that we are a leader of the ongoing transformation in the automotive industry,” said Håkan Samuelsson, Chief Executive of Volvo Cars.
Volvo Cars aims to become the fastest-transforming company in the sector and to be fully electric by 2030.
The appeal of Volvo’s electric cars was demonstrated in the first half of the year by the demand for its Recharge models.
Sales of both its fully electric and plug-in hybrid cars grew significantly, now making up 25 per cent of the global volume. This is the highest electrification share as a proportion of total sales among traditional car makers.
As part of the move towards full electrification, Volvo Cars launched its second fully electric model, the C40 Recharge. At the same time, the company firmed up its strategy of online sales to meet changing consumer behaviour.
From now on, all fully electric models will be available exclusively through volvocars.com, and customers can order at their place of preference – from their home, at a Volvo studio, or together with a retailer.
Volvo Cars is now operational with online sales in several markets, with transparent and flexible consumer offerings including care packages of service, wear and tear as well as insurance. Volvo Cars’ subscription offering, Care by Volvo, had a fivefold increase in the first six months of the year to more than 10,000 contracts.
Securing sustainable batteries is key for Volvo Cars’ transformation. The company is therefore planning to join forces with Northvolt as a strategic partner for joint development and manufacturing of next-generation battery cells.
To ensure focus on electrification, Volvo Cars is carving out its internal combustion engine operations into a new unit, Aurobay, in which Geely Holding will be a main shareholder.
Through Aurobay, Volvo Cars will realise synergies as well as secure a supply of competitive combustion engines for its hybrid powertrains until the company is fully electric.
“Volvo Cars has a decade-long track record of successful transformation. The car industry is changing more than ever, and we have a strong determination to be the fastest transformer,” said Håkan Samuelsson.
In May, the Board announced that it is evaluating a possible initial public offering (IPO) on Nasdaq Stockholm. The evaluation process continues.
Looking at the remaining half year, Volvo Cars reiterates its full-year outlook. Unless supply of semiconductors improves, the company expects flat sales and revenue for the second half year compared with the same period last year, despite strong customer demand.
Sime Darby Auto Selection (SDAS), Malaysia’s fastest-growing corporate multi-brand used car dealer under Sime Darby Motors, is introducing an Extended Warranty Program for pre-owned cars in collaboration with Guard My Ride (GMR) and RHB Insurance.
The new Extended Warranty Program, offers pre-owned vehicle owners peace of mind with comprehensive warranty coverage as well as repair and service for the following:
Transmission oil leaks
Air conditioning system
The programme also offers complimentary towing service to nationwide panel workshops for repair and servicing, insurance coverage and insurance underwriting.
Vehicles with mileage of under 140,000 km and less than 8 years are eligible for the programme which is priced between RM2,200 and RM6,900 per year depending on the vehicle age and type. The Extended Warranty Program can be purchased at SDAS Glenmarie showroom and is also open to customers who purchase pre-owned vehicles from SDAS.
SDAS Managing Director Vi Thim Juan said the company aims to be a one-stop-centre for customers in the pre-owned vehicle market, catering to all their needs which include retail of good quality and thoroughly checked multi-brand pre-owned vehicles, service and repairs, as well as its latest Extended Warranty Program.
“SDAS strives to keep innovating our offerings in anticipation of customers’ needs, and hopefully exceed the demand of our customers. We aim to set ourselves apart from the competition and we are determined to only offer quality products and services that are akin to the 3S centres,” said Vi.
On the collaboration with its partners GMR and RHB insurance, GMR will be the service provider for all the extended warranty claims, towing service and repair work while RHB insurance is the motor insurance and insurance underwriter provider.
From one brand to many
Sime Darby Auto Selection recently expanded its offerings from being a certified BMW Premium Selection dealer to a nationwide multi-brand dealer with several locations in Klang Valley and Johor Bahru today. It is a unit under Sime Darby Motors, one of Asia Pacific’s leading automotive groups actively involved in all facets of the automotive business – from importation and assembly to distribution, retail and rental.
Guard My Ride provides a comprehensive extended warranty service backed by RHB insurance for used and recond car owners, with a definitive focus on being transparent to their customers throughout the whole claims process – on top of having a fast turnaround rate.
Their current partnerships include MyTukar, Evo Malaysia and Sime Darby Auto Selection. Guard My Ride also puts a lot of emphasis on the appointment of panel workshops that aims to provide an excellent standard of car servicing and maintenance quality.
Sime Darby Motors clocked another milestone with the official launch of its automotive facility, Sime Darby Motors City in Ara Damansara earlier this week.
Touted as the largest automotive complex in Southeast Asia, Sime Darby Motors City spans across 8.6 acres with an overall built-up area of 1.3 million square feet over eight levels.
Six brands under one roof
The complex houses six flagship centres featuring ten flagship brands represented by Sime Darby Motors in Malaysia, namely BMW, Ford, Hyundai, Jaguar, Land Rover, MINI, Motorrad, Porsche and Volvo. It also has an indoor facility capable of housing close to 100 vehicles under Sime Darby Motors’ pre-owned car business Sime Darby Auto Selection.
Integrated with the latest technologies to enrich the overall customer experience at every touch point, the facility boasts almost 200 service bays, approximately 700 customer parking and electric vehicle (EV) charging bays and the capacity to display more than 180 vehicles.
Supporting the facility are approximately 60 Auto Bavaria technicians for BMW, MINI and Motorrad and over 110 certified technicians. This includes technicians who hold the highest level of certification by the principal brands, including the Zertifizierter Porsche Techniker Gold Certification which is streamlined for Porsche technicians worldwide. Brands like Ford, Hyundai, Jaguar and Land Rover also have certifications with the highest being trained as Master Technicians.
Fully digital infrastructure
At the heart of the facility’s digital infrastructure is its Vehicle Tracking Management system which utilises a camera-based parking guide and customisable signages to ensure a higher level of guidance, security and convenience for the customer.
It also allows for quicker collection of vehicles upon completion of service. Internally, the facility’s digitalised infrastructure communicates the status of each vehicle in real-time, ensuring greater efficiencies are achieved.
IoT-powered Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras have also been installed, as part of a contactless self-check-in system, which enables customers’ appointment data to be accessed, upon their arrival.
Concurrently, a service advisor will be alerted and automatically assigned to the customer, allowing for a seamless experience. The deployment of these technologies will be rolled out progressively throughout Sime Darby Motors City.
Once in the showroom, customers can opt for a contactless self-check-in which utilises a QR code system. This will allow customers to be placed immediately in the queue without having to wait to be attended to, allowing for a fuss-free service experience. The introduction of this check-in system will be introduced across all brands at Sime Darby Motors City.
To support these enhancements to the after-sales experience, Sime Darby Motors has also digitalised the business for its sales representatives. This includes the introduction of a mobile application, which has enabled sales representatives to be connected anytime and anywhere with real-time data to better serve customers. With the mobile application, they can now populate and print application forms wirelessly, minimising steps in the administrative process and reducing customers’ waiting time.
Sime Darby Motors City also welcomes partners from our mobility collaborations; SOCAR, Malaysia’s leading car-sharing network and myTukar, Malaysia’s fastest growing online used car trading platform. The complex will have designated parking bays for SOCAR vehicles – ideal for customers dropping off their vehicles for service, and will be a showcase centre for myTukar trade-in vehicles, in collaboration with Sime Darby Auto Selection.
The facility is equipped with specialised EV-certified technicians and designated areas for EV charging, storage and repairs as well, which are currently available at Auto Bavaria, Auto Hyundai, Auto Performance and Swedish Auto.
And then we have Sime Darby Auto Performance which houses a high speed EV charging station that is capable of delivering a maximum of 175 kW, able to provide a near-full charge within 36 minutes, which is at least eight times faster than the fastest Alternating Current (AC) charger available at 22 kW.
The complex is a Green Building Index (GBI) certified facility built with sustainability in mind and incorporates technologies to cultivate a paperless organisational culture.
Grand Launch Weekend
To commemorate the launch, Sime Darby Motors City will be organising a “Grand Launch Weekend” with attractive deals across the six flagship stores between 16 and 18 April 2021. Interested customers are advised to make an appointment, in adherence with the government’s COVID-19 standard operating procedures on crowd control and physical distancing.
Volvo Car Malaysia officially launched the brand-new Volvo XC40 Recharge T5 R-Design today, making it the first and only automotive brand in Malaysia to offer a full range of Completely Knocked-Down (CKD) plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) all assembled in Malaysia.
Priced at RM255,888, the XC40 Recharge T5 is now reduced to RM241,997.04 after sales tax exemption (on-the-road, without insurance) and will be available for viewing at all authorised Volvo dealers nationwide starting today.
Built on Volvo’s Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform , the Volvo XC40 Recharge T5 comes with Volvo’s first-ever 1.5 litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine Drive-E powertrain, with an electric motor mounted to its seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox to drive the front wheels.
The Recharge T5 powertrain has a combined output of 262 hp and 425 Nm of torque, while 160 Nm of torque and a maximum power of 82 hp is generated from the electric motor to give a boost of instantaneous acceleration.
Together with the petrol engine, the XC40 Recharge T5 reaches 100km/h in 7.3 seconds and comes with its speed capped at 180km/h following the company’s announcement in March 2020.
Assembled in Malaysia, the XC40 Recharge T5 comes equipped with the same award-winning safety, connectivity and infotainment technology expected of a modern Volvo within its sporting edge design.
Some of the technology included in the XC40 Recharge T5 are safety and driver assistance features such as the Pilot Assist system, City Safety, Run-off Road protection and mitigation， Cross Traffic alert with brake support.
The XC40 Recharge T5 offers five different drive modes for a more dynamic driving experience: Hybrid (default), Pure, Off-road, Power and Individual.
In terms of the design, the Volvo XC40 Recharge T5 is near identical to the other XC40 variant, with the most obvious difference being the charging lid.
Additionally, the storage areas in the cabin have been designed to provide drivers with more functional storage space in the doors, including retractable hooks for hanging items.
Book it online
That being said, the new Volvo XC40 Recharge T5 R-Design is available for online booking through Volvo Car Malaysia’s website as a safer alternative and in adherence to the government’s standard operating procedures (SOPs). The government recently extended its sales tax exemption for all vehicle purchases till 30 June 2021.
Customers will have the option to choose from among five distinct colours – Blackstone, Crystal White Pearl, Bursting Blue Metallic, Glacier Silver Metallic and Coral Red Metallic.
Volvo Car Malaysia has officially invited the whole world to witness the arrival of the Volvo XC40 Recharge T5 plug-in hybrid SUV on Malaysian shores on the 25th of February, on VCM’s official Facebook page.
The T5 Twin Engine marries Volvo’s efficient new 1.5-litre three-cylinder 180hp petrol engine with an 82hp electric motor. The T5 Twin Engine is not only the first hybrid powertrain in the XC40, it is also the first to be engineered for use in Volvo’s CMA (Compact Modular Architecture) platform.
It is front-wheel driven, in contrast to the established T8 Twin Engine (390hp) powertrain deployed in larger models built on the SPA (Scalable Product Architecture) platform, which has all-wheel-drive capability. The powertrain’s efficiency and performance are supported by a new seven-speed twin-clutch automatic transmission, featured for the first time in a new-generation Volvo model.
The XC40 T5 Twin Engine models come with a recharging outlet on the nearside front wing. A 4.5m cable with a three-pin plug is provided as standard. Charging via the fast-charge cable will completely recharge the car’s high-voltage battery in as little as 2.5 hours. Fully charging via the three-pin plug cable takes between 3.5 and 6 hours.
Displaying cool, clean, contemporary lines, The XC40 Recharge T5, like its petrol-powered sibling, blends Scandinavian style with all the desirability and dynamism customers seek from a compact SUV. An impressive haul of industry awards has been matched by public enthusiasm for the car, which has quickly become the best seller in Volvo’s product range.
Generous equipment levels across the board major on seamless on-board connectivity, advanced comfort and convenience features, and cutting-edge safety aids.
Among the key features offered in the plug-in hybrid SUV include various driving modes (Pure electric, Hybrid, and Power), interior carpeting made of recycled plastic, a beautifully crafted gear shifter in genuine Swedish crystal handmade exclusively for Volvo by the glass artisans at Orrefors, and generous dose of storage compartments to name a few.
While Volvo has decided to call all of its electrified models “Recharge”, there are actually different versions of the electrified XC40. The XC40 Recharge T5 which we will be getting here is actually a plug-in hybrid, similar to the one offered in Thailand, and not the full electric engine-less and grille-less Recharge variant that is offered in more developed parts of the world.
That being said, more details of the XC40 Recharge T5 will be unveiled during its launch next week, so watch this space for more updates.
The new Volvo FH, Volvo FH16, Volvo FM and Volvo FMX will be the first commercial heavy-duty trucks to come with Alexa built-in. The trucks with Alexa will be available from March 2021 in Austria, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.
In September 2020, Volvo Trucks started sales of four new trucks that had been developed with a strong focus on the driver environment, safety and productivity. The trucks have a new, flexible user interface with a digital instrument panel that gives the driver relevant information in each situation and makes it easier for drivers to take the right decisions.
“We have developed Volvo characteristics, including ergonomics, comfort and safety, and combined them with innovative technology, such as Alexa, to create an even more attractive and productive driver environment,” says Samuel Nerdal, Product Manager for electronics and electrical solutions at Volvo Trucks.
With Alexa drivers can keep their hands on the steering wheel and their eyes on the road. If the new truck is equipped with the navigation software that is available from Volvo Trucks, then the driver can ask Alexa which route to take. In addition, Alexa can help the driver make phone calls to customers and family members, play music and access the news and audiobooks.
“Volvo Trucks understands that voice technology is essential to create the optimal experience for drivers of their heavy-duty trucks and we’re excited that Alexa is the chosen voice service to deliver this,” said Ned Curic, Vice President, Alexa Automotive. “Alexa can be a helpful friend on the road for Volvo truck drivers, keeping them connected, entertained and productive.”
What is Amazon Alexa?
Amazon Alexa, also known simply as Alexa, is a virtual assistant AI technology which was developed by Amazon, first used in the Amazon Echo smart speakers developed by Amazon Lab126.
It is capable of voice interaction, music playback, making to-do lists, setting alarms, streaming podcasts, playing audiobooks, and providing weather, traffic, sports, and other real-time information, such as news.
Alexa can also control several smart devices using itself as a home automation system. Users are able to extend the Alexa capabilities by installing “skills” (additional functionality developed by third-party vendors, in other settings more commonly called apps) such as weather programs and audio features.
Most devices with Alexa allow users to activate the device using a wake-word (such as Alexa or Amazon); other devices require the user to push a button to activate Alexa’s listening mode, although, some phones also allow a user to say a command, such as “Alexa” or “Alexa wake”.
Currently, interaction and communication with Alexa are available only in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, and Hindi.In Canada, Alexa is available in English and French.
As of November 2018, Amazon had more than 10,000 employees working on Alexa and related products. In January 2019, Amazon’s devices team announced that they had sold over 100 million Alexa-enabled devices.
In September 2019, Amazon launched many new devices achieving many records while competing with the world’s smart home industry. The new Echo Studio became the first smart speaker with 360 sound and Dolby sound.
Other new devices included an Echo dot with a clock behind the fabric, a new third-generation Amazon Echo, Echo Show 8, a plug-in Echo device, Echo Flex, Alexa built-in wireless earphones, Echo buds, Alexa built-in spectacles, Echo frames, an Alexa built-in Ring, and Echo Loop.