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.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns, car sales coming to a halt in many parts of the world, Volvo still managed to sell a decent number of cars in 2020. In fact, the Swedish carmaker reported that it recorded the strongest second-half sales numbers in the company’s history in 2020.
After a brief shutdown during the first half of 2020, Volvo was quick to restart production in the second half, as there was fast-growing demand for its Recharge line-up of chargeable cars like the Volvo XC40 Recharge among others.
The share of Recharge models, with a fully electric or plug-in hybrid powertrain, more than doubled in 2020 compared to 2019. In Europe, the share of Recharge cars of overall sales was 29 per cent, making Volvo the leading brand in the region for chargeable cars. It was also a leading plug-in hybrid brand in the US.
In China and the United States, its two largest individual markets, the company reported growing sales for the full year as it managed to more than recover a pandemic-related sales drop in the first half during the second half of the year.
“We had a great second half of the year after a tough start, gaining market share in all our main sales regions,” said Lex Kerssemakers, head of Global Commercial Operations. “We aim to build on this positive trend in 2021 as we continue to roll out new electrified Volvos and expand our online business.”
While sales dropped by 21 per cent in the first half, the company resumed its growth trajectory of recent years in the second half of 2020, reporting solid month on month growth from June onwards. Sales rose by 7.4 per cent to 391,751 cars in the second half compared to the same period in 2019.
Globally, Volvo Cars sold 661,713 cars in 2020, a decline of 6.2 per cent compared to 2019. Although final numbers for the full year are yet to be confirmed, the company outperformed its competitors and gained market share in all its main sales regions during the first eleven months of the year.
Sales rose by 7.5 per cent in China in 2020, to 166,617 cars, compared to 2019. In the US, the company sold 110,129 cars, a 1.8 per cent increase compared to the year before. In both markets, strong demand for the company’s award-winning SUV line-up was responsible for the majority of sales volumes.
In Europe, Volvo Cars saw strong demand for its Recharge cars in many key markets. A sluggish overall market, held down by pandemic-related restrictions, meant that overall sales fell by 15.5 per cent for the whole year.
The pandemic also accelerated the company’s move towards online sales, which will continue to be a focus area in 2021. In 2020, Volvo Cars more than doubled its number of subscriptions sold online versus 2019. Conquest rates via this channel continued to be high, supporting the increase in market share.
By 2025, Volvo aims for its global sales to consist of 50 per cent fully electric cars, with the rest hybrids. It is currently the only car maker to offer a plug-in hybrid variant on every model in its portfolio.
If you happen to own a vehicle from a brand under Sime Darby Motors Malaysia, and it is no longer under warranty, finding genuine parts a competitive price will no longer be an issue. Here’s why…
Sime Darby Motors Malaysia (SDM Malaysia) has teamed up with SpareXhub, in its ongoing efforts to further digitalize the customer experience to offer vehicle owners an additional avenue to purchase genuine automotive spare parts at highly competitive prices.
“This collaboration is a good example of how we consistently innovate and leverage on technology partners to enhance the customer journey, especially in the face of the current pandemic limiting in-person experience.
It is also in line with our digital transformation plan to have end-to-end digital solutions by allowing contactless orders, payment and delivery, for an improved customer experience.
Car owners, especially those without manufacturers’ warranties, can now have peace of mind when purchasing genuine spare parts from SpareXhub in a market that is flooded with original equipment manufacturer (OEM), aftermarket and used parts,” said Managing Director of SDM Malaysia’s Retail and Distribution arm, Jeffrey Gan.
“The digital transformation in the automotive industry is certainly opening up new opportunities for us. This collaboration will not only expand our digital outreach to customers with selected post warranty models, it will also cater to stockists and independent workshops who register on the online store at www.sparexhub.com,” he added.
The collaboration with SpareXhub, a genuine spare parts e-commerce platform owned by ACS Pentas (Asia) Sdn Bhd gives customers the ability to source, order and purchase original automotive spare parts of their preferred brands via a one-stop contactless platform from the comfort of their home or office, and at unbeatable prices.
Besides the benefit to customers, SDM Malaysia stands to gain operational efficiency by freeing up warehouse space and better management of parts inventory by increasing stock turnover and reducing obsolescence.
The 10 trucks are part of a delivery order which comprises a total of 31 units of Volvo FM370 and FM440 heavy duty trucks, which are expected to be delivered to Konsortium PD Sdn Bhd in stages from 2020 to 2021.
Having established a large fleet over the past two decades, Konsortium PD Sdn Bhd mainly operates in Port Dickson, Westport, Puchong, Kapar, Kempas in Johor, and HICOM industrial area in Shah Alam.
Their operation covers and extends services to the majority of all Oil and Gas corporations in the country. The recent addition of Petron Malaysia to the service of their fleet further consolidates their leadership position in their Malaysian roadmap ambition.
Today, Konsortium PD Sdn Bhd has emerged as one of the best haulage companies in the region built on the reputation based on their highest standards of safety and operational excellence garnering acknowledgement from many industry peers and dominant players.
Volvo Trucks Malaysia has been a partner with Konsortium PD Sdn Bhd since 2015, and besides just selling trucks, Volvo Trucks also offered a Driver Development Programme as an essential value added service to train the ‘captains’ (experienced truck drivers) of Konsortium PD Sdn Bhd.
With the combined experience and expertise in the Oil & Gas industry in Malaysia, Konsortium PD Sdn Bhd continues to further cement their position as one of the leading providers of total customer solutions in the energy sector and related businesses.
There is no doubt Konsortium PD Sdn Bhd will continue its dedication and passion about their vision to expand their business to a greater height and Volvo Trucks is here to stay and ride a joint ambition for dominance together into the future. Together, the future is a win-win partnership for all.
When someone asks us to think of a safe car, the image we have in our minds is most probably a Volvo, thanks to all of the brand’s inventions and initiatives along the way, but that doesn’t mean that other cars are not safe.
However, the reason Volvo always stays ahead of the game when it comes to safety is because the company always goes the extra mile in order to keep things safe, like what it has done now with a crane and 10 of its new models.
In an effort to allow rescue services to prepare for any possible crash scenarios beyond what can be simulated with ordinary crash testing, Volvodropped several new Volvos multiple times from a crane, from a height of 30 metres.
This approach helped create enough damage to adequately simulate the damage found in the most extreme crash scenarios (high speed accidents, severe side impact etc).
What happens in these situations is that people inside the car are likely to be in a critical condition. So, the priority is to get people out of the car and to a hospital as quickly as possible, using hydraulic rescue tools known in the industry as ‘jaws of life’.
In fact, extrication specialists often talk about the golden hour where they need to release and get a patient to the hospital within one hour after the accident has happened.
So, what Volvo did was basically present such scenarios to the rescue services so they could not only train, but also to work on further improvising extrication work in the future.
It was said that all findings from the training here and the resulting extrication work will be collected in an extensive research report, which will be made available free of use to rescue workers elsewhere, allowing them to benefit from the findings and further develop their life-saving capabilities.
A total of ten Volvos, of different models, were dropped from the crane several times. Before the drop, Volvo Cars safety engineers made exact calculations about how much pressure and force each car needed to be exposed to, in order to reach the desired level of damage.
“We have been working closely together with the Swedish rescue services for many years,” says Hakan Gustafson, a senior investigator with the Volvo Cars Traffic Accident Research Team.
“Normally we only crash cars in the laboratory, but this was the first time we dropped them from a crane,” says Håkan Gustafson. “We knew we would see extreme deformations after the test, and we did this to give the rescue team a real challenge to work with.”
Volvo Trucks just revealed full electric versions of its proven FH, FM, as well as FMX trucks recently, and the best part is that customers in Europe can make their orders next year itself.
Curently undergoing the final phase of testing, the electric FM, FH, and FMX trucks will have a gross combination weight of up to 44 tonnes. Depending on the battery configuration, the range could be up to 300 km.
Sales will begin next year and volume production will start in 2022. This means that from 2021 onwards Volvo Trucks will sell a complete range of battery-electric trucks in Europe for distribution, refuse, regional transport and urban construction operations.
The models mentioned above will complement the Volvo FL Electric and the Volvo FE Electric which have been around since 2019.
From Volvo Trucks’ perspective, what’s happening now is a transition to more sustainable transport, and the company said that it aims to make the shift as smooth as possible for haulage operators, so that they can begin to adjust.
How Volvo Trucks aims to do this is by offering holistic solutions that include route planning, correctly specified vehicles, charging equipment, financing and services.
While the first batch of these electric Prime Movers are expected to reach customers in Europe in 2022, markets such as Malaysia will have to wait much longer.
So, watch this space for more updates on Volvo’s new Electric behemoths.
Next year, hauliers in Europe will be able to order all-electric versions of Volvo’s heavy-duty trucks. This means that Volvo Trucks will offer a complete heavy-duty range with electric drivelines starting in Europe in 2021. Volvo Trucks’ massive drive towards electrification marks a major step forwards on the road to fossil-free transport.
Volvo Trucks is now running tests of the electric heavy-duty Volvo FH, Volvo FM and Volvo FMX trucks, which will be used for regional transport and urban construction operations in Europe.
These trucks will have a gross combination weight of up to 44 tonnes. Depending on the battery configuration the range could be up to 300 km. Sales will begin next year and volume production will start in 2022. This means that from 2021 onwards Volvo Trucks will sell a complete range of battery-electric trucks in Europe for distribution, refuse, regional transport and urban construction operations.
“By rapidly increasing the number of heavy-duty electric trucks, we want to help our customers and transport buyers to achieve their ambitious sustainability goals. We’re determined to continue driving our industry towards a sustainable future,” says Roger Alm, President Volvo Trucks.
Volvo Trucks started manufacturing the Volvo FL Electric and Volvo FE Electric in 2019. These are electric trucks intended for city distribution and refuse operations, primarily in Europe. In North America, sales of the Volvo VNR Electric, a truck for regional transport, will start on December 3, 2020.
A gradual transition to fossil-free alternatives Electric vehicles for demanding and heavy long-haul operations will follow in this decade. These will be battery-electric and fuel cell electric trucks with a longer range. Volvo Trucks aims to start selling electric trucks powered by hydrogen fuel cells in the second half of this decade. Volvo Trucks’ objective is for its entire product range to be fossil-free by 2040.
“To reduce the impact of transport on the climate, we need to make a swift transition from fossil fuels to alternatives such as electricity. But the conditions for making this shift, and consequently the pace of the transition, vary dramatically across different hauliers and markets, depending on many variables such as financial incentives, access to charging infrastructure and type of transport operations,” explains Roger Alm.
For this reason, most transport companies will change over to electric operation in stages. In practice, many of them will have a mixed fleet of trucks powered by different fuels during a transition period.
“Our chassis are designed to be independent of the driveline used. Our customers can choose to buy several Volvo trucks of the same model, with the only difference being that some are electric and others are powered by gas or diesel. As regards product characteristics, such as the driver’s environment, reliability and safety, all our vehicles meet the same high standards. Drivers should feel familiar with their vehicles and be able to operate them safely and efficiently regardless of the fuel used,” says Roger Alm.
From Volvo Trucks’ perspective, the transition to more sustainable transport is largely about making the shift as smooth as possible for haulage operators, so that they can begin to adjust. The solutions offered must be fossil-free and allow hauliers to achieve the necessary levels of profitability and productivity.
“Our primary task is to ease the transition to electrified vehicles. We’re doing this by offering holistic solutions that include route planning, correctly specified vehicles, charging equipment, financing and services. The long-term security that we and our global network of dealers and service workshops provide our customers with will be more important than ever,” says Roger Alm.
Volvo Car Malaysia recently launched a new 3S (Sales, Service & Spare Parts) centre in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
Sebangga Mitsinbo Sdn. Bhd. joins Volvo Car Malaysia’s network of 13 dealers across the country in delivering a premium, safe and holistic Volvo Car experience to Sabahans. With the opening of this 5,432 square-foot centre, Volvo Car Malaysia now has 14 dealerships in the country.
Sebangga Mitsinbo Sdn. Bhd. was appointed Volvo Car Malaysia’s dealer-partner in November 2019, marking them the sole authorised Volvo car dealer in Sabah.
Through this appointment, Volvo Car Malaysia said the company continues to expand their footprint to cater to local demand and provide greater premium service experience to customers within the region.
Nalin Jain, Managing Director of Volvo Car Malaysia, said, “Volvo Car Malaysia and the Sebangga Group share the same vision of protecting what is important, which is why we are honoured to have Sebangga Mitsinbo as our 14th 3S centre in Malaysia.”
“As a brand, we want to enable a dynamic driving experience for our Sabahan customers, as they journey on the road, in life and with the brand, while also caring for the planet through a more sustainable drive with Volvo Cars.”
Inspired by the brand’s Scandinavian-inspired ideals and heritage, the Sebangga Mitsinbo 3S Centre was built in adherence to Volvo Car’s retail standard – the Volvo Retail Experience (VRE).
The open space and minimalistic-but-functional furniture are part of the Volvo’s design language to deliver a contemporary luxury experience. The two-storey space features a showroom at the ground floor, a service centre, a Volvo Car Lifestyle Collection and Accessories showcase, Sebangga Mitsinbo will feature Volvo’s latest premium line-ups on display and for test drives, including the XC40, XC60, XC90, S60 and S90.
Volvo Trucks announced that its Johor based customer, transportation company Chemtrax Sdn Bhd (Chemtrax), has recently taken delivery of five units of Volvo trucks. Out of the lot, four are FM370 4×2, with one unit of FM440 6×2.
It is said that the purchase is in line with the company’s expansion plans, where the new trucks will be utilized for transporting caustic soda chemical compounds and butadiene gas.
With these new additions, Chemtrax now owns 55 units of Volvo trucks, which makes up about 90% of the company’s total fleet of trucks.
Established in 1998, Chemtrax is one of the leading transportation companies in Malaysia that specialises in the moving of hazardous chemical and gas products such as acids, alkalis, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), water-based chemicals and other flammable and toxic gases.
The company transports these products within Malaysia and Singapore using various types of road tankers such as stainless-steel tanker, special-lined tanker and high-pressured gas tanker to meet the diverse and strict requirements for each hazardous material it transports.
Speaking at the truck handover ceremony, Jaffar Abu Bakar, Group Managing Director of Chemtrax Sdn Bhd said, “We have more than 20 years of experience in handling hazardous materials and have been providing transportation services to companies like Petronas, CCM Chemicals, Kaneka, Solar Gaz and other global companies like IVICT, INEOS and Synthomer. These companies all subscribe to very stringent global standards of safety which we are highly committed to.”
He added that the company’s transport routes consist of both long and short haul deliveries within all over Peninsula Malaysia, as well as to Singapore with around 15 trips daily into the island.
“The hazardous nature of the materials we transport neccesitates us to constantly ensure that safety remains at the forefront of our business. As we are steadfast in our commitment to fully comply to international standards of safety and quality, we do require robust trucks to help us maintain our standards and ensure on-time deliveries to our clients.
Volvo Car Malaysia today paved a new path for customers with the launch of its 360 total-care used car programme known as Volvo Selekt.
Each pre-owned Volvo car under the Volvo Selekt programme is guaranteed to be under five years old and has less than 100,000 km in mileage. Once it qualifies under the programme, the car will receive a 125-point inspection and have its software upgraded to the latest technology.
Any replacements will be fitted with genuine Volvo parts to ensure that they are road-ready and deliver optimal performance. Most importantly, all the services and upgrades will be conducted by trained Volvo technicians.
To give new Volvo Selekt car owners a head start, each car comes with a minimum of 12 months warranty, a complimentary 1-year maintenance service package (VSA 1) and 12 months of Roadside Assistance.
Customers can also choose from a range of accessories purposefully designed to form a seamless connection between their car and their lifestyle.
For active drivers looking for a more dynamic driving experience, the Polestar optimisation package is an optional add-on to selected Volvo models that gives an enhanced response, more precise, sharper and intense reactions from the car.
All Volvo Selekt cars have undergone Volvo-approved checks to ensure that they meet the safety, performance and appearance standards. This check and selection process can only be done by authorised Volvo Car dealers in Malaysia, where new Volvo Selekt car owners will be given a certificate of verification upon purchase.
The Volvo Selekt programme is currently only available at Sisma Auto Glenmarie Selekt Centre, with more authorised dealers to participate later.
Following Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin’s announcement last week with regard to the Short-Term Economic Recovery plan, Volvo Car Malaysia today released its new price list for all Volvo CKD (Completely Knocked Down) models to exclude sales tax, effective 15 June to 31 December 2020.
The full range of Volvo CKD line-up in Malaysia will receive a discount and the revised retail price listed for all models are on-the-road, without insurance, inclusive of excise duty and exclusive of sales tax. The price list is as mentioned below:
To help customers to kickstart their new Volvo journey, Volvo Car Malaysia is currently offering a complimentary Recharge Package worth up to RM30,888, a Hager Wallbox worth RM8,000 and 5 years maintenance service package (VSA 5+). This offer is applicable on selected models and subject to stock availability. In addition to that, all bookings done online will receive a complimentary Polestar Optimization package worth RM5,250.
The current Volvo car owners need not worry about missing out on the extra benefits as Volvo Car Malaysia is extending its aftersales offers for them to travel safely with a peace of mind. Special discounts worth up to 30% on selected Service Parts, 20% on selected Wheelset Accessories, 15% on Polestar Software Optimisation, up to 50% on selected Accessories and complimentary Health Check & Carwash. Both sales and after sales offers are available exclusively until 30 June 2020.