Volvo’s ‘No Show’ at LA Auto Show

Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo CEO

Consumers flocking to the Volvo stand at this year’s LA Auto Show won’t be able to view a single product from the Swedish carmaker.

That’s because Volvo is responding to the show’s organizer’s dubbing of the pre-show reveal on press days as Automobility LA. Taking this cue, it is using the event to showcase its vision of the changing relationship consumers will have with cars in the future.

Since motor shows were born early in the last century, the car has always been a centerpiece, on a rotating stage or covered under a silk sheet. Yet, the role of cars is changing along with the industry and so are the expectations of people who use cars. Volvo says how consumers experience a car brand is today more important than chrome, leather or horsepower. That’s why when visitors take a look to the central space in Volvo’s stand instead of seeing a car they will be treated to a simple installation stating: ‘This Is Not A Car’.

Volvo will, however, show a number of interactive demonstrations of connectivity services, such as in-car delivery, car sharing, its vision for autonomous driving as displayed in the Volvo 360c concept and the car access service Care by Volvo.

Mårten Levenstam, responsible for product strategy at Volvo Cars, said: “By calling the trade show Automobility LA, the organizers have recognized the disruption affecting our industry. We want to demonstrate that we got the memo and start a conversation about the future of automobility. So instead of bringing a concept car, we talk about the concept of a car. We will not win the ‘car of the show’ award this year but we are comfortable with that because this is not a car show.”

Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo CEO, (pictured above) added: “Our industry is changing. Rather than just building and selling cars, we will really provide our customers with the freedom to move in a personal, sustainable and safe way. We offer our customers access to a car, including new attractive services whenever and wherever they want it.”

Volvo believes, by the middle of the next decade, half of the annual car volume will be fully electric, one-third will be autonomous and it expects to establish more than five million direct consumer relationships.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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