Volvo and Geely to deepen their partnership

Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, is planning to set up a new joint venture technology company with Geely Holding, the Chinese car group, to share existing and future technology, deepen industrial synergies and provide the economies of scale that will allow them to more rapidly develop next generation electrified vehicle technology.

According to a Memorandum of Understanding signed today, Volvo Cars, Geely Auto and LYNK & CO will share vehicle architecture and engine technologies via cross licensing arrangements of technologies managed by the new joint venture. They will also cooperate more deeply by commonly sourcing components and cutting procurement costs.

Volvo Cars, Geely Auto and LYNK & CO are controlled by Geely Holding, the Chinese car group. The new joint venture will be 50/50 owned by Volvo Cars and Geely Holding and be headquartered in China with a subsidiary in Gothenburg, Sweden.

“Partnerships to share know-how and technologies are common practice in the automotive industry. This is the model we are adopting,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive. “This planned collaboration will strengthen Volvo’s ability to develop next generation electrified cars.”

Volvo Cars and Geely already share technology, most notably the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) which is being used by Volvo Cars for its soon-to-be-announced smaller range of 40 series cars and by LYNK & CO.

The intellectual property rights for the technology to be shared will remain with the company that developed it, but the technology itself will be available for use by Volvo, Geely Auto and LYNK & CO, via license agreements.

Future modular vehicle architectures and other technology will be shared and developed based on cost sharing agreements. The company leading the development will own the technology and the other group companies will have full access to it through a license, reducing overall development costs.

It is expected that the collaboration will extend in future to also cover electrified vehicle components such as battery cells, e-motors and charging systems in order to maximize synergies across the group.

Separately, it is also announced today that Volvo is to take a significant minority shareholding in LYNK & CO. This stake reflects the fact that LYNK & CO will benefit from the use of Volvo technology both now and in the future. LYNK & CO will be jointly owned by Geely Holding, Geely Auto and Volvo Cars.

Li Shufu, chairman of Geely Holding said: “We will unlock significant benefits across our portfolio by sharing both technologies and next-generation vehicle architectures. I am confident these synergies can be achieved while preserving the separate identities and strategic autonomy of our different automotive brands.”

The above transactions are subject to definitive agreements and relevant authority approvals.

Volvo Car Group in 2016

For the 2016 financial year, Volvo Car Group recorded an operating profit of 11,014 MSEK (6,620 MSEK in 2015). Revenue over the period amounted to 180,672 MSEK (164,043 MSEK). For the full year 2016, global sales reached a record 534,332 cars, an increase of 6.2 per cent versus 2015. The record sales and operating profit cleared the way for Volvo Car Group to continue investing in its global transformation plan.

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 534,332 cars in 2016 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.

As of December 2016, Volvo Cars had over 31,000 employees worldwide. Volvo Cars 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).

About Geely Auto Group

Geely Auto Group is a leading auto manufacturer based in Hangzhou, China. Geely Auto Group consists of two brands, Geely Auto and LYNK & CO.

Geely Auto Group was founded in 1997, and has rapidly grown over the years. The Group is listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, and saw its sales volume increase to 765,000 units in 2016 with 2017 sales goal set at one million units. In the first five months of 2017, Geely Auto Group sold a combined 441,854 units, an increase of 89% over the same period in 2016 and completing 37% of the groups 2017 sales goal of one million units.

The controlling shareholder in Geely Auto is Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (ZGH), which is also the parent company of Volvo Car Corporation in Sweden and the London Taxi Company.

Via: Volvo Car Group Press Release

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UBER acquired self-driving truck startup OTTO and teamed up with VOLVO

Ride service Uber Technologies Inc said on Thursday it acquired self-driving trucks startup Otto and formed a $300 million alliance with Volvo Car Group to develop self-driving cars.

Uber’s moves reflect its eagerness to advance self-driving technology. If its ambitions are realized, these vehicles could over time reduce its biggest cost, paying drivers.

Uber would also be positioned to expand into the trucking industry, which had revenue of about $726.4 billion in the United States in 2015, according to trade data.

Carpooling firms have formed alliances with large automakers, such as General Motors Co and ride-hailing service Lyft, to accelerate those efforts, which depend on software and hardware working together to give a vehicle the right reflexes in traffic.

“Partnership is crucial to our self-driving strategy because Uber has no experience making cars,” Uber Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick wrote in a blogpost.

“To do it well is incredibly hard, as I realized on my first visit to a car manufacturing plant several years ago.”

Uber, which has a research center in Pittsburgh, will by the end of this month begin a pilot program in which trusted Uber customers will be able to use their phones to summon a self-driving car for use in a downtown Pittsburgh, according to a source with knowledge of Uber’s plans.

It will be the first time members of the public will be able to use self-driving vehicles. A driver trained to handle the autonomous cars will be behind the wheel to step in if needed.

The purchase of Otto, a start-up company less than a year old with fewer than 100 employees, will be for 1 percent of Uber’s valuation, if certain technical targets are met, said the source.

Recently, that valuation was about $68 billion, placing the value of the deal at about $680 million. Current Otto employees would get a fifth of profits Uber earns from a self-driving trucking business, if those targets are met, the source said.

Current Otto employees would get a fifth of profits Uber earns from a self-driving trucking business.

Anthony Levandowski, one of Otto’s co-founders, will lead Uber’s self-driving efforts in San Francisco, Palo Alto and Pittsburgh, Kalanick said on the company’s website.

That includes personal transportation such as ride-hailing services, as well as delivery services and trucking, Kalanick said.

Levandowski was one of four founders of Otto, each of whom worked at Alphabet Inc’s Google and its self-driving program.

VOLVO DEAL FOCUSES ON SUV

The Uber-Volvo partnership will allow Uber to pool resources with the Swedish-based carmaker, owned by China’s Geely, into initially developing the autonomous driving capabilities of Volvo’s flagship XC90 SUV model. The investment will be shared roughly equally by the two companies.

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Vovlo XC90

There was no timeline given for the alliance, but the source said the goal is to develop a fully self-driving car by 2021, and that Uber, which does not plan to make its own vehicle, will align with other automakers over time.

Uber will buy Volvos and then install its own driverless control system. Some of the Volvos will join a handful of Ford Motor Co Fusion sedans that will be used to start the pilot program that combines self-driving and ride-hailing in downtown Pittsburgh.

So far Otto has tested self-driving trucks for highway use only.

Developers hope for productivity gains with the new technology that will enable trucks to drive around the clock, leaving humans to rest, do paperwork and take controls only while going on and off highways.

Over the long-term, Uber and rivals such as Lyft could cut the cost of paying drivers if they can gradually incorporate self-driving cars into their fleets. But at least for now, said the source familiar with the Uber-Otto agreement, Uber will expand its driver network, which now stands at 1.5 million globally in more than 450 cities.

A spokesman for U.S. safety regulator National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it “continues to engage with all entities that are developing, testing and deploying automated technologies to ensure that they are advancing road safety.”

Federal guidelines will be issued soon on development and testing of “highly automated vehicles,” he said.

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via: Reuters

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We are halfway through 2016 and have already seen few hit launches in the market in the form of Maruti Vitara Brezza and Datsun Redi-Go. The festive season is around the corner and that is when the swarm of new cars are launched in India to capture the festive mood. We bring you 20 new…

via 20 Cars & SUVs launching in 5 months — Cartoq – Honest Car Advice