Volvo Group has a long-term vision for the China market, a strategy that did not get disrupted by the short-term economic fallouts due to the COVID-19 outbreak, a senior executive said at the sidelines of the ongoing 3rd China International Import Expo.
Jan Gurander, deputy CEO of Volvo Group, said in an exclusive online interview with China Daily that "We are always long-term when we take decisions. That's why we stuck to the decisions of shifting our regional Asia-Pacific headquarters of Volvo Construction Equipment and Volvo Financial Services to China earlier this year, even when it was difficult for China at that time due to the epidemic situation."
According to him, these decisions highlight the company's strong commitment to the nation, which is by far the biggest market for construction equipment, and also places more emphasis on electric transportation technologies, two areas that Volvo Group excels in.
"What is very important is that China continues to open up as well, because if you put a regional headquarters in China it is possible to conduct the business not only in China but also to have the possibilities to do transactions outside of China to and from other countries in the region," Gurander said.
According to the senior executive, China has achieved a V-shaped recovery in many sectors after the epidemic was brought under control in the country. For example, Gurander said 2020 is likely to be a record year in terms of trucks (sales) in China.
Thanks to quick recovery from the pandemic with great support from Chinese local governments, Volvo Group said it has sustained and even grown its business in the nation.
This year marks the first time that Volvo Group has an independent exhibition at the CIIE, which offers a good opportunity to be more seen and more noticed in China, Gurander said.
At the event, the company showcases its latest products such as electric excavators. "Here we want to take the opportunity to show that Volvo is, from a global perspective, a leading manufacturer of equipment, but also taking the lead in terms of new technologies," Gurander said.
As Chinese companies are shifting their focus from pure upfront costs to a more sustainable life-cycle-cost perspective, they become more willing to embrace highly efficient and environmentally reliable products, and this offers good opportunities for Volvo Group, he added.
To better serve local consumers, the company also unveiled a new product called Pay As You Use, which is a customized service that basically allows consumers pay how much they use the company's equipment.
"The strengths of China have been extremely important to Volvo. And we have a strong belief in China in the long-term," Gurander added.