Volvo has announced its first fully fledged mobility service ‘M’ that will rival Volkswagen’s Moia. The carmaker will launch the mobility brand it in 2019 in Sweden and the US.
The M mobility brand aims to transform car ownership and will use learning technology to glean details from users to tailor their service.
Preset user preferences and driver profiles are likely to be the outcome of the tech’s information harvest; Volvo has previously stated that flexibility, ease of use and personalisation options are key to the brand’s success.
M will be based around an app, and although no word has been given on which cars will be available on the scheme, it’s likely to eventually spread to the entire Volvo range, if not at first. On Volvo's current car sharing scheme, Sunfleet, only SUVs are available.
Volvo has run this scheme since 1998. It operates in 50 Swedish cities and has 50,000 users. Sunfleet will be rolled into the M mobility scheme, using the knowledge from its Swedish operations to grow the new brand.
“Private car ownership will not disappear, but as a carmaker, we need to embrace the fact that it will reduce and, more importantly, change," said Volvo boss Håkan Samuelsson. "We have a proven and profitable concept in our home market that we intend to leverage as we develop a global concept.”
Bodil Eriksson, former vice president of product, marketing and communications at Volvo USA, will head up M. Volvo has suggested that M and Care By Volvo might not be the only mobility strategies away from traditional car ownership methods, claiming that “a range of on-demand mobility solutions” are on the way.
M is the latest step from Volvo away from car ownership as we know it. With the XC40, Volvo launched its Care By Volvo service, which allows drivers to subscribe to cars rather than owning them outright, with maintenance, insurance and other car-related costs rolled into one monthly payment. The brand aims for 20 percent of its sales to be subscription-based by 2022 and 50 percent by 2025.
Volkswagen has already launched its Moia mobility brand, while an increasing number of rival manufacturers are launching subscription services. Unlike Moia, however, M will not take a driverless focus; instead, it is training upon being an alternative to buying a car outright. Most recently, Jaguar Land Rover launched its Carpe subscription scheme.