Volvo Cars is planning to expand its online presence as one of its biggest transformations by setting up a tech hub in the Swedish capital, Stockholm. The move is inspired by Volvo’s plan to sell at least half of its cars online. “The expansion will support Volvo Cars’ strong growth, as well as its mid-decade ambitions to sell at least half of all its cars online and to develop at least half of all software in-house,” it said in a statement as published by Reuters.
Volvo Cars is also planning to electrify its cars and building a tech hub would act as a catalyst in the transition. Upon completion, the hub is expected to hire at least 700 IT professionals as part of its in-house team of analysts, software engineers, data scientists, etc.
Volvo Cars is at the epicenter of one of the largest European tech hubs (Stockholm) which gives it an upper hand in its quest to be a leader in the auto industry. Some of the biggest tech giants such as Google, Amazon, IBM, Oracle, and Microsoft have offices in Stockholm. “Stockholm is a hot-spot for tech talent, and we want to create an innovative, creative and collaborative workplace to attract people from around the world. The process has already started and we are currently looking for new team members who can help drive our company forward,” said Hanna Fager, head of corporate functions at Volvo Cars.
The implementation is part of Volvo’s plan that was put on paper a while back. Patrik Bengtsson, head of software platform at Volvo Cars, in an interview with ComputerWeekly, described how investing in software is indispensable for automakers. “When we look at the current architecture of the car, more and more features are software-driven. In the past, car makers relied on tier-one suppliers to deliver these pieces of new functionality as black-box software packages. Apart from Tesla, all other car manufacturers do this,” Bengtsson told ComputerWeekly in an interview in mid-2021. It’s for the same reasons that the company’s CEO, Håkan Samuelsson believes that in the future, cars will be defined by the strength of their software rather than the hardware components.