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Volvo to Beef Up ‘Connected Solutions’ Investing With Unit’s Launch, Mobility Buzz Learns

Volvo Group Venture Capital has teamed up with Volvo Group Telematics and Wireless Car to develop a new connected solutions unit, Mobility Buzz has learned.

The new unit is intended for Volvo Group to place a stronger focus on connected solutions — meaning the digital connection of vehicles on the road — “since it’s an important enabler for new business growth,” said Anna Westerberg, president of Volvo Group Venture Capital, and the new senior vice president of connected solutions.

The formation of the connected solutions unit was communicated to Volvo employees at the end of last year, and officially launched last month, Westerberg told Mobility BuzzThe new unit will allow Volvo and its partners to make more effective use of connected solutions for its trucks and commercial vehicles, she said.

“Volvo Group has close to 6,000 connected assets, primarily trucks,” she said. “We do have a strong base to develop further our connected solutions, so our focus is going to be on that.”

The new unit’s top priority this year is to leverage connected solutions to deliver the best services to Volvo customers by teaming up or investing in partners, she said. “We know what kind of values are important to our customers, and with the help of our partners, we can deliver that value in different ways.”

Volvo’s connected solutions unit and venture capital group are particularly interested in partnering with new software-based services and solutions providers, as one example.

“We will continue investing in interesting startups because it will give us a strategic value, and we together can create something even better for our customers,” Westerberg said. “We look into everything, including connected vehicle driving and autonomous driving.”

Volvo Group Venture Capital looks for companies primarily who work on doing business in a new way or those that are able to solve every problem or customer pain point, she said. As an example, last year Volvo Group Venture Capital joined five other companies to invest $16 million in Peloton Technology, a developer of vehicle technologies that delivers advanced safety technologies such as collision mitigation and adaptive cruise control systems. The connected solutions unit will focus solely on investing, partnering, and developing technologies like Peloton’s.

Startups need to have a good understanding of what their value proposition or customer opportunity is that they bring to the table, she said. The startup’s team is also very important, when it comes to evaluating new startup for investment opportunities. “And then also thinking how can we compliment each other to mutually gain from this partnership?” she said.

Overall, Volvo Car USA, LLC, reported U.S. sales of more than 4,650 vehicles last month. Year-to-date sales were down 14.5%.

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