Buyers won't flood to showrooms for petrol or diesel cars after lockdown, reckons Håkan Samuelsson, so it would "be good to promote" electrification
22 May 2020

Volvo's boss has claimed it would be “naive” to expect consumers to flood back into showrooms for petrol or diesel cars after the coronavirus-enforced lockdown is lifted.

Speaking at the recent Financial Times Global Boardroom conference, Håkan Samuelsson labelled the idea of scrappage schemes to subsidise sales of ICE cars “a waste of money”.

“Electrification will go faster. It’d be good to promote new technology – good for governments to support electric vehicles, which are more expensive in the first years,” Samuelsson continued.

He also admitted that weak demand is a bigger issue than restarting production; Volvo’s main plant in Sweden is running a three-day week at present.

“Demand in Europe is around 30% what it is normally, but demand in China is 20% above where it was before the virus. If those signals are right, they speak for a good recovery,” he said. “I really hope this is the case, and anything else will be a disaster for the business.”

The Swede also highlighted the concept of "revenge buying" that is aiding a recovery of sales in the US, whereby consumers fed up of lockdown restrictions are more keen to purchase a new car for a psychological boost.

The crisis has also revealed the issue of sourcing multiple parts from one country, said Samuelsson: “Europe and the US need to have more manufacturing jobs. We need to build cars where we sell them. We can’t rely on China to build everything.”

READ MORE

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11

22 May 2020

 Yes, we should be thinking about EV cars, but, what would happen for disabled car owners?,  not many are going to say, ok, it's only another whatever a month, and the Government won't cover the extra either.

22 May 2020

Boss of Volvo is naive to  even think that people will flock to EVs after lockdown eases. i oredict the more demand wil be for used cars.

22 May 2020

Petrol has never been as cheap, and no one has any money or any job security, millions more will be unemployed, so why would they take on the debt of a brand new car?

If anyone does have any money/need for a new car, then as mpls says, it will be a used one, because the used car market will collapse, as firms collapse or make mass redundancies, and all the fleet cars are returned to the leasing companies and are dumped into the auctions. 

22 May 2020

Ahh, yes. Volvo talking about leading in electric cars and the end of ICE - when they don't actually sell any.  Every single one of their cars burns diesel or petrol.

And this, supposedly a specialist magazine, just laps it up and prints the press release.

22 May 2020

Volvo are trying to bluff the public into believing their cars are "clean", "eco-friendly" and "electric" with careful advertising that fails to point out that they only have diesel models in some ranges or petrol and diesel in others and that their electrification program is going slower than hoped (as in not at all). As pointed out Volvo do not sell any electric vehicles. What is "naive" to use Mr Samuelsson's phrase is to expect that after months of lockdown with reduced incomes, increased debts and uncertainty for the next year or two that people will start to go out and begin buying hugely expensive electric cars of limited utility for the vast majority when, again, as pointed out petrol is cheaper than ever and it will be far more likely that people will hang onto their current cars until they see what the situation is going to be like economically going forward. An Autocar puff piece if ever I saw one. 

23 May 2020

Nonsense!

No one will have any money and electric cars are ridiculously expensive. On the other hand petrol has not been so cheap for a long long time. 

23 May 2020
Can we all stop saying how cheap petrol is, someone may notice and put the price up ;)

23 May 2020
Totally agree with the other posts that Volvo hasn't any EVs and even if it did, who post lock down will afford them?

23 May 2020
And I do like Volvos and do see merit in electrifying powertrains to reduce emissions, but, to really reduce emissions they need their cars to be considerably lighter.

23 May 2020

I think he is correct. The public wont go out there to buy cars in huge numbers, not with their own money, or to take on more debt, and typically we still buy ICE cars. But the demand will still be there for company cars, and pretty much all CoCar drivers want an EV because there is no tax on them.

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