The Swedish automaker is all-in on hosting its own events for new models

Volvo is continuing to step away from attending auto shows after announcing its intention to skip the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. The move is seen as the latest sign that the Swedish automaker is ready to completely drop the auto show model in favor of hosting its own events anytime it has a new model to unveil. That’s now the plan with the new S60 sedan, which the company is unveiling later this month at the opening of its new production facility in Charleston, South Carolina.

Add Geneva to The List of Auto Shows That Volvo Is Not Attending
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Volvo’s thrown the white towel on Detroit, and now it looks like it’s doing the same to Geneva, at least as far as the 2019 show is concerned.

The auto industry is changing in so many ways these days. Apparently, automaker interest in auto shows is one of those changes. It’s not just Volvo. Other automakers like BMW, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, and Mazda have also skipped auto shows. Volvo, though, appears to be taking it to another level. Back when it announced its intention of skipping certain auto shows, it said that it would only attend major events like Detroit, Beijing/Shanghai, and, of course, Geneva. Well, Volvo’s thrown the white towel on Detroit, and now it looks like it’s doing the same to Geneva, at least as far as the 2019 show is concerned.

The automaker’s intentions are clear. According to Björn Annwall, senior vice president of strategy, brand, and retail at Volvo Cars, the decision to skip Geneva is part of the company’s goal to “create new audiences and new ways of bringing products to the market.”

"Automatic attendance at traditional industry events is no longer viable – we must tailor our communications based on how the options complement our messaging, timing and the nature of the technology we are presenting,” Annwall added.

2018 Volvo XC40 AutoShow Exterior
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Moving forward, expect Volvo to create its own events whenever it has a new model to launch.

Moving forward, expect Volvo to create its own events whenever it has a new model to launch. Last year, it unveiled the XC40 at the Milan Fashion Week. Later this month, it will unveil the new S60 sedan to coincide with the opening of its new production facility in Charleston, South Carolina.

These are the type of events that we can look forward to from the Geely-owned company. They’re cheaper to produce, and Volvo doesn’t have to compete against other automakers the way it would during a traditional auto show. The reach and impact are just as big, thanks in large part to accelerated globalization and the rise of social media. These are the benefits that come with automakers holding their own events as opposed to attending auto shows. Volvo’s not the first to do it, and it certainly isn’t the last.

Further reading

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Press release

Volvo Cars to focus on new ways of introducing cars and services to consumers

Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, will continue its move away from traditional auto industry events to focus on bespoke activities to introduce its new cars, technologies and services to media and consumers.

The shift towards purpose-specific communications supports the company’s ambition to transform its connection to its customer base, with the aim to build more than five million direct consumer relationships by the middle of next decade.

The company’s most recent new-car launches revealed the XC40 compact SUV at the 2017 Milan Fashion Week and unveiled the new V60 premium mid-size estate in the driveway of a suburban home in Stockholm.

Later this month Volvo Cars will also launch its new S60 sports sedan at the inauguration of the company’s first US manufacturing plant, in Charleston, South Carolina.

As part of the company’s strategy to target a new mix of audiences and develop its own events, Volvo Cars has decided it will not attend the Geneva Motor Show in 2019.

“The ongoing change in the car industry is creating new audiences for Volvo Cars and new ways of bringing products to the market,” said Björn Annwall, senior vice president of strategy, brand and retail at Volvo Cars. “Automatic attendance at traditional industry events is no longer viable – we must tailor our communications based on how the options complement our messaging, timing and the nature of the technology we are presenting.”

Annwall continued: “We are not saying never to car shows. We expect industry events like the Geneva Motor Show to continue evolving and we may return in future.”

Volvo Cars’ new S60 sports sedan will complete a successful renewal of the company’s portfolio, which started with the introduction of the XC90 in 2014. Since then the company has recorded four consecutive years of record sales and profits.

The company now enters a new phase with the strongest global car range in its history and will continue to increase its focus on innovation and services.

Volvo Car Group in 2017

For the 2017 financial year, Volvo Car Group recorded an operating profit of 14,061 MSEK (11,014 MSEK in 2016). Revenue over the period amounted to 210,912 MSEK (180,902 MSEK). For the full year 2017, global sales reached a record 571,577 cars, an increase of 7.0 per cent versus 2016. The results underline the comprehensive transformation of Volvo Cars’ finances and operations in recent years, positioning the company for its next growth phase.

About Volvo Car Group

Volvo has been in operation since 1927. Today, Volvo Cars is one of the most well-known and respected car brands in the world with sales of 571,577 cars in 2017 in about 100 countries. Volvo Cars has been under the ownership of the Zhejiang Geely Holding (Geely Holding) of China since 2010. It formed part of the Swedish Volvo Group until 1999, when the company was bought by Ford Motor Company of the US. In 2010, Volvo Cars was acquired by Geely Holding.

In 2017, Volvo Cars employed on average approximately 38,000 (30,400) full-time employees. VolvoCars head office, product development, marketing and administration functions are mainly located in Gothenburg, Sweden. Volvo Cars head office for China is located in Shanghai. The company’s main car production plants are located in Gothenburg (Sweden), Ghent (Belgium), Chengdu and Daqing (China), while engines are manufactured in Skövde (Sweden) and Zhangjiakou (China) and body components in Olofström (Sweden).

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