Volvo Cars and technology company ECARX are planning to set up a new joint venture for the development and commercialisation of a cutting-edge infotainment system platform.
The planned joint venture would allow both companies and the wider Geely Group to speed up technology development, improve cost efficiency and create new revenue streams.
Volvo Cars has worked with Google on the development of the Android Automotive operating system since 2017. In 2020, Volvo Cars and Polestar were the first car makers to introduce infotainment systems based on the Android Automotive operating system with Google apps and services built in.
Through the new joint venture, Volvo Cars and ECARX will continue and expand the development of Volvo Cars’ infotainment system platform. The joint venture will make the platform available to all Geely Group and affiliate brands, while also providing the platform to third parties through ECARX.
“The infotainment system in Volvo’s latest cars is one of the best on the market, rivalling mobile phones in user experience,” says Henrik Green, Chief Technology Officer at Volvo Cars. “Through this joint venture, we can speed up development of the system, bring high-quality infotainment to more cars and maximise incentives for companies and developers to create great services and apps for the users of the platform.”
ECARX is a new, stand-alone and fast-growing technology company that has had a global footprint since its expansion to Europe in December 2020. It has extensive experience in developing and integrating high-quality Android-based infotainment systems for brands such as Geely Auto, Lynk & Co and Proton.
“With profound accumulation in in-vehicle infotainment systems and the intelligent connected field, ECARX is committed to becoming the leading power in automotive intelligence technology in China,” says Ziyu Shen, Chief Executive Officer at ECARX. “This joint venture will be another important move for ECARX’s globalisation strategy. It will start the partnership between ECARX and Volvo Cars, integrates their respective technical advantages to bring global consumers connected infotainment experiences that lead the industry, and paves the way for further cooperation.”
Volvo Cars initially plans to integrate the platform developed in the joint venture into Volvo Cars and Polestar cars, with their own unique user interfaces.
ECARX will be the exclusive commercialisation partner for the integration of the platform into other vehicles worldwide and in combination with its existing ECARX automotive services offering in the China market. Volvo Cars and ECARX are also investigating the use of ECARX automotive services in the China market and hardware from ECARX.
When established, the joint venture will be led by Jan-Erik Larsson, currently the Head of R&D in China for Volvo Cars. Following final negotiations, and subject to finalisation and execution of relevant agreements between the parties, the company is set to become operational in the third quarter of 2021.
Notes to editors:
Volvo Car Group in 2020
For the 2020 financial year, Volvo Car Group recorded an operating profit of 8.5 BSEK (14.3 BSEK in 2019). Revenue over the period amounted to 262.8 BSEK (274.1 BSEK). For the full year of 2020, global sales reached 661,713 cars (705,452), a decline of 6.2 per cent compared to 2019.
About Volvo Car Group
Volvo Cars was founded in 1927. Today, it is one of the most well-known and respected car brands in the world, with sales of 661,713 cars in 2020 in about 100 countries. Volvo Cars has been under the ownership of Zhejiang Geely Holding since 2010.
As of December 2020, Volvo Cars employed approximately 40,000 (41,500) full-time employees. Volvo Cars’ head office, product development, marketing and administration functions are mainly located in Gothenburg, Sweden. Volvo Cars’ head office for APAC is located in Shanghai. The company’s main car production plants are located in Gothenburg (Sweden), Ghent (Belgium), South Carolina (US), Chengdu and Daqing (China), while engines are manufactured in Skövde (Sweden) and Zhangjiakou (China), and body components in Olofström (Sweden).
Under its new company purpose, Volvo Cars aims to provide customers with the Freedom to Move in a personal, sustainable and safe way. This purpose is reflected in a number of business ambitions: for example, by the middle of this decade it aims for half of its global sales to be fully electric cars and to establish five million direct consumer relationships. Volvo Cars is also committed to an ongoing reduction of its carbon footprint, with the ambition to be a climate-neutral company by 2040.
ECARX (ECARX Technology Co., Ltd.) is an automotive intelligence technology company founded by China's leading automotive entrepreneur Mr. Li Shufu and Mr. Shen Ziyu in 2016. With over 1700 members of staff in total located in China offices in Hangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan and Dalian, and EU office in Gothenburg, Sweden. ECARX's core products include self-developed vehicle chip-sets, 4G-powered intelligent cockpits, intelligent driving, HD map, big data and IoV cloud products, in addition ECARX is continuously developing an open intelligent connected platform that empowers automotive companies to create a more intelligent and safer mobility experience. Since its launch in late 2018, ECARX’s intelligent connected system has surpassed 2.5 million users globally. Furthermore, ECARX has received strategic investment from Baidu, SIG and China Venture Capital Fund and Hubei Changjiang Jingkai V2X Industry Fund LLP in 2020 and 2021.
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