The tide is turning at Volvo. The brand was one of the first to promise to build some electrification into all future vehicles and aims to sell only electric vehicles by 2030. I have a second goal in mind. Cars avoid leather. The company announced Thursday that it will produce leather-free cars more frequently, with a goal of eliminating leather use by 2030.
The promise starts with the Volvo C40 Recharge EV, which doesn’t contain a single leather sample. We’ll also show you how to decorate the interior without leather for any new electric vehicle the company wants to make. It’s not like flicking a lamp switch, however. Volvo sells luxury cars, and luxury car buyers are looking for luxury materials. However, brands are looking for a sustainable source of new materials that can be incorporated into the vehicles of the future. They can include materials made from recycled bottles, wool from authorized and responsible sources, and so on.
Ultimately, the aim is to reduce reliance on livestock farming, which is responsible for around 14% of global greenhouse gases.
By 2025, Volvo expects that 25% of the new materials injected into cars will come from recycled bio-based content. Even in the laces of its suppliers, the brand doesn’t let up much. Even direct suppliers who work with Volvo have to work with 100% renewable energy.
Early and international expansion:
The Volvo brand was registered in May 1911 as a trademark for the new SKF ball bearing series. It means “roll” in Latin and is combined with “volvere”. The idea was short-lived and SKF decided to use the initials as a trademark for all bearing products.
In 1924, Assar Gabrielsson, SKF sales manager, and Gustaf Larson, KTH trained engineer, decided to start manufacturing Swedish cars. They wanted to build a car that could withstand the country’s rough roads and low temperatures.
AB Volvo started operations on August 10, 1926. After a year of preparation, including the production of 10 prototypes, the company is ready to start manufacturing automobiles within the SKF Group. The Volvo Group itself assumes that its first car, the Volvo ÖV 4, rolled off the assembly line at its plant in Hisingen, Gothenburg, in 1927. Only 280 were produced that year. The first track, “Series 1”, debuted in January 1928 and quickly became successful and garnered international attention. In 1930 Volvo sold 639 cars, and truck exports to Europe began shortly thereafter. Automobiles were not known outside of Sweden until after World War II. AB Volvo was listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange in 1935 and SKF decided to sell its shares. In 1942 Volvo took over the Swedish precision engineering company Svenska Flygmotor (later renamed Volvo Aero).
Penta Barken, which manufactured engines for Volvo, was taken over in 1935, which enabled a secure supply of engines and entry into the marine engine market.
The first bus, dubbed the B1, was launched in 1934 and aero engines were added to the growing line of history in the early 1940s, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
In 1950, Volvo acquired the Swedish agricultural and construction machinery manufacturer Borinda Münchtel. Bolinder-Munktel was renamed Volvo BM in 1973. In 1979 Volvo BM’s agricultural machinery business was sold to Valmet. Later, through reorganizations and acquisitions, the rest of the construction equipment business became Volvo Construction Equipment.
Unification and fusion attempts:
In 1977 Volvo tried to integrate its business with rival Swedish auto company Saab-Scania, but the latter refused. In the 1970s, the French manufacturers Renault and Volvo began to work together. In 1978, Volvo Cars Corporation was spun off as a separate company within the Volvo Group and Renault acquired a minority stake before being sold after restructuring in the 1980s. In the 1990s, Renault and Volvo worked closely together, and the two companies worked together on purchasing, research and development, and quality control, while expanding mutual ownership. Renault will support Volvo in entry-level and mid-range vehicles and in return Volvo will share technology with Renault in the upper segments. In 1993, the 1994 Volvo-Renault merger agreement was announced, which was largely unacceptable in France but was opposed in Sweden as Volvo shareholders and the board of directors voted against it. The alliance was officially dissolved in February 1994 and Volvo sold its minority stake to Renault in 1997.
In 1991 the Volvo Group entered into a joint venture with the Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors in its former DAF plant in Born, the Netherlands. This company under the NedCar brand started production of the first Mitsubishi Charisma in 1996 together with the Volvo S40 / V40. In the 1990s, Volvo also entered into a partnership with the American manufacturer General Motors. In 1999 the European Union blocked the merger with Scania AB
New Materials for Its Leather-Free Cars:
Fashion houses such as Stella McCartney and Victoria Beckham have long been without animal products, but car manufacturers such as Audi, BMW, Land Rover and Tesla offer sustainable, leather-free interiors as car options.
So far, Volvo is one of the few brands that says they don’t offer leather on every vehicle, not even as an option. The electric truck manufacturer Rivian currently only offers vegan “leather” seats for R1T trucks, with no leather seats or upholstery options.
The change at Volvo will begin next year with the C40 Recharge, a plug-in electric SUV with a range of more than 200 miles. It will last until 2030, when Volvo will remove leather products entirely from its all-electric product line. This is a decision driven not only by concerns about the ethical treatment of animals but also by reading and predicting market trends, Volvo executives said in a private video interview announcing these changes.
“I think our customers ‘expectations are changing,” says Robin Page, Volvo Cars’ chief designer. “They are changing the habits of fashion and the products they buy. They want to know more about the materials and where they come from and where they come from, and people are moving towards climate change and the planet. I am even more aware of the effects of. “
According to a report by Infinium Global Research, quoted by Stuart Templar, Volvo’s Director of Global Sustainability, the vegan leather market is projected to reach 73 billion euros (85 billion US dollars) by 2025. According to the site, the new cars will be made from recycled organic content and all direct suppliers, including material suppliers, will use 100% renewable energy.
“Consumers are increasingly focusing not only on the end product, but also on how it is made,” adds the Knight Templar. “And that includes responsible procurement.”
Volvo is committed to ensuring full traceability and animal welfare in its materials supply chain. For this reason, Volvo will introduce a new wool blend from certified suppliers. We also offer Microtech, a suede-like fabric made from recycled polyester, as well as components made from sustainably sourced linen and linen.
“There are premium alternatives to leather,” says Page. In the past, consumers considered anything but leather to be inferior. They change their minds because they better understand climate change. According to him, around 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions from human activities come from farm animals, most of which come from farm animals. “Our ultimate goal is to get recycled natural materials as this is part of total sustainability.”
Another new non-leather material that Volvo is using is Nordico, a fabric made from recycled materials such as PET bottles, wood waste from sustainable forestry in Sweden and Finland and recycled cork from the wine industry.
That announcement comes in what Volvo calls the “really annoying” challenge of getting a computer chip. In July, Volvo agreed to use its parent company Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. Control a Chinese company that may upgrade its valuation ahead of the proposed stock sale.
Volvo has the potential to reach a valuation of about $ 20 billion and is expected to go public in late September. Volvo will be one of the largest IPOs in Europe in 2021, albeit overshadowed by an estimated $ 80 billion IPO for electric truck startup Rivian.