Visitors to the Los Angeles Auto Show next week are in for a stark surprise at the Volvo Cars booth.  While the company is presently offering its cars for sale in the USA, instead of displaying a concept car or filling floor space with their brand models, attendees will experience the Volvo Cars area devoid of any automobiles!  Instead, Volvo Cars will be presenting their vision of the future in which they say their focus is on the current changes in the automotive industry and changing expectations of motorists.

        

By naming our theme “Automobility LA”, we are taking note of the upheaval in our industry,” said Marten Levenstam, Volvo Cars’ Product Strategy Manager, “We want to let you know that the message has been well received by engaging in conversation about the future of self-mobility. So, rather than presenting a concept car, we will talk about the concept of a car. “

  Marten Levenstam, Volvo Cars’ Product Strategy Manager

In addition to the statement “This Is Not A Car” posted in full on its booth, Volvo Cars will present in Los Angeles interactive demonstrations of mobility services such as shifting delivery, car sharing, its Care by Volvo car subscription service and its vision of autonomous driving embodied by the Volvo 360c concept car.

In short, everything to offer the brand’s customers “personalized, sustainable and safe freedom of movement”, concludes Hakan Samuelsson, Chairman and CEO of Volvo Cars.

  Hakan Samuelsson, Chairman and CEO of Volvo Cars

As we have mentioned in Citroënvie articles of late, PSA (Peugeot, Citroën, Opel and Vauxhall) is trying to grow their recently introduced Free2Move mobility services in regions of the USA, including Los Angeles.  At the moment they are doing so without selling any vehicles in North America, but are talking about offering cars for sale here beyond 2025. 

PSA has had a presence and even displayed automobiles at previous recent LA Auto Shows.  They do not have floor space this year.  Imagine if they, rather than Volvo Cars, had played up the “no cars” theme in a display this year to get their message across about Free2Move and the vehicles they say will be forthcoming.  Quite the missed opportunity especially in light of how Volvo has chosen to present themselves.  

No question, Volvo Cars has taken a risky move to not show a single vehicle, but in doing so, whether intentionally or not, they have sent a clear message that they understand PSA’s strategy for North America and are offering direct competition, while at the same time subtly understating that they have stayed in the US market while PSA and others have not.