Commenting on his competitors’ slower move to electric vehicles, Volvo Cars’ new chief Jim Rowan said it’s a bad idea to tiptoe toward an electric future while continuing to develop combustion engine models.
Hedging bets by investing in internal combustion engine and battery-electric vehicles “risks missing the market,” Rowan said on an earnings call last week.
“We don’t want to risk missing the market.”
The Swedish automaker has one of the industry’s most aggressive electrification timetables, with plans to go all-electric globally by the turn of the next decade.
Volvo will bookend its crossover lineup with two new electric models this year and launch a new EV model every year for the next three or four years. The EX90 large crossover and an entry-priced small crossover will go into production by the end of this year, said Rowan, who took over the top job last year.
Rowan said an aggressive investment strategy will position the luxury automaker to capitalize on the building demand for EVs globally.
“The big problem with industry transitions is if you don’t invest ahead of the curve, then you miss that inflection point, and you’re not ready for when the market changes,” he said. “We are investing ahead of the curve.”
According to data from LMC Automotive, electric vehicle sales surged 72 percent globally to 7.97 million vehicles last year. Nearly 10 percent of new light vehicles sold in 2022 were BEVs, LMC noted.
“The market is moving towards electrification, and you best get ready,” Rowan said on the call. “We’ve been bold enough [to] invest ahead of that inflection point, which we know [will] come.”