Newsflash: nieuwe BMW M2 wordt 460 pk sterk


+++ The ALFA ROMEO Tonale has been a long time coming. Making its debut as a concept vehicle over 2 years ago, the upcoming sub-Stelvio crossover can’t come soon enough for Alfa Romeo. That’s most especially with the fact that the Italian marque is now down to 2 vehicles in the lineup. However, it seems like Alfa Romeo is facing another delay in introducing the production version of the Tonale. The Tonale’s debut, which was expected to be unveiled with a PHEV setup during the first quarter of 2022, has been pushed back because of the ongoing global chip shortage. This isn’t the first time that the Tonale’s global debut has been delayed. To recall, Alfa Romeo CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato wanted the plug-in hybrid powertrain to have better performance, which pushed the crossover’s launch further than initially expected. Stellantis is practically facing the same foe for its brands that are about to launch new cars this year. Earlier this week, the newly-formed merger between FCA and PSA announced that the Grecale will be delayed due to the same semiconductor woes. The Grecale won’t premiere until spring 2022. Currently, we can make peace with some facts that we know about the Alfa Romeo Tonale so far. One of these facts includes Alfa’s decision to drop the Giorgio platform, which underpins both the Stelvio and Giulia. The Tonale will be sharing the Small Wide 4×4 platform with the Jeep Renegade / Compass and is poised to become a hot-seller for the Italian marque. The Tonale will also be built at the Pomigliano d’Arco factory alongside the upcoming Dodge Hornet. Alfa Romeo hasn’t disclosed an exact date for the Tonale’s debut and arrival. We’ll know more about these as the months progress. +++

+++ One of the hotly anticipated performance models from BMW is the M2 Coupe. While the M240i xDrive already has a pretty potent straight-6 turbo, there’s nothing wrong with a little more power. That said, expectations are high for the next-generation M2. The M2 Coupe will have 460 hp from its 3.0-litre, twin-turbo, inline-6 engine. It means it will have even more power than the most potent version of the current M2, the M2 CS. For reference, the limited-run M2 CS has 450 hp. We can expect even more from the Competition version of the future M2 Coupe. The M2 will be rear-wheel drive unlike the M240i. However, there is no mention if xDrive all-wheel drive will be an option. Given BMW’s positioning of the 2 Series Coupe as a “purer” driver’s car, it might be rear-wheel drive only. That said, don’t count out the possibility of having an all-wheel drive system with two-wheel drive mode. And here’s another bit of info that will please the purists, there will still be a manual version. Its production is expected to start by December 2022 and last all the way up to July 2029. Like its lesser-powered versions, the M2 and M2 Competition will be built in the BMW San Luis Potosi line in Mexico. A carbon roof will be optional, and some of the first cars that will roll out will be part of the M division’s 50th anniversary celebrations. +++

+++ Vehicles made in CHINA are gaining popularity in overseas markets, driving exports from the world’s largest auto market to a record high. Over 1.36 million vehicles were shipped overseas in the first 3 quarters, said the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. That is around 1.2 times the figure from January to September in 2020 and a 51 % rise compared with the same period in pre-Covid 2019. Xu Haidong, deputy chief engineer of the association, said the surge in exports is related to changes in global vehicle production. General Motors and Ford are shutting money-losing plants in some Asian countries, including India and Thailand. Chip shortages and the Covid pandemic are forcing carmakers from Toyota to Volkswagen to cut their production as well. Chinese carmakers have also felt the shortage of semiconductors, which contributed to a reduction in combined projections for production of around 2 million units in 2021. However, thanks to effective Covid controls, vehicle supplies from China have been comparatively plentiful. In the first 9 months, 18.24 million vehicles were made in China; up 7.5 percent from the same period in 2020, according to the CAAM. China has become a major producer of Tesla models for global markets, with over 100.000 cars exported this year. “Due to strong US demand and global average cost optimization, we have completed the transition of Gigafactory Shanghai as the primary vehicle export hub”, Tesla said in July. Gigafactory is the name the company has given to facilities that centralize production. The fundamental reason for the growing popularity of Chinese brand vehicles is their improving quality and service, which enhances their reputation, as well as novel features largely absent in rival products, Xu said. SAIC Motor, China’s largest vehicle-maker by sales, sold over 441.000 vehicles overseas in the first 3 quarters of this year; up 99.6 % from the same period last year. The carmaker expects sales to reach 550.000 units during the whole year. SAIC Motor has set up around 1.000 dealerships and service outlets in some 70 countries and regions. Of them, big markets include Europe, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand, ASEAN countries and India. SAIC’s guiding strategy is to offer new and different options, said Yu De, managing director of SAIC’s international business department. In emerging markets, for example, the carmaker highlights its smart connected vehicles (which can connect to the internet and communicate with other devices) while in developed markets like Europe, new energy vehicles have served as an entry point. Xu at the CAAM said new energy vehicles are a good way for carmakers to explore the European market. European countries are offering generous subsidies to buyers of new energy vehicles, but most local products are hybrids, which creates a competitive edge for pure electric vehicles that Chinese carmakers excel in making. In the first half of this year, SAIC delivered over 12,000 electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids in Europe, accounting for almost 60 percent of all its sales on the continent. “Our rivals are local European brands. In France, they are Renault, Peugeot and Citroën”, said Liu Xinyu, president of SAIC’s French subsidiary. Liu said SAIC’s success in Europe lies in its products and services. “Our 2 models in France have 5-star safety ratings and we offer a 7 year warranty, which is the longest in the market”, Liu said. Maxus, a SAIC subsidiary, sold 5.446 vehicles in Europe in the first half of this year; up 187 percent from the same period last year. Many of Maxus’ big customers in Europe are delivery firms, including Royal Mail, Irish National Post, DHL and FedEx. “We recently beat Renault and Mercedes and won an order for 750 units from DPD’s British subsidiary. We have similar prices and what make us stand out is our products”, according to a statement from the carmaker. The order from delivery company DPD marked the largest single British order for China-made vehicles. Iceland’s oldest shipping company, Eimskip, has placed orders for Maxus’ vans, which will be the first electric vehicles in its fleet. Harris Automotive, Maxus’ sole agency in the United Kingdom, expects the brand’s sales to at least triple this year in the country. “Maxus has become a leader in the UK’s electric vehicle sector, and our success in this area will only continue as electric vehicles become more and more popular in the years ahead”, said Mark Barrett, general manager of Harris Automotive. Besides its products and services, SAIC has also worked to be part of markets where it is present, which is crucial to any company’s overseas operations. “When we enter a market, we want to join the local community and engage in social responsibility”, Yu said. Yu said over 70 percent of SAIC’s overseas employees are locals. The company sponsors concerts and soccer games, and has worked for the public good during the pandemic. “We are not a small company, and we don’t just come and go. We live and work there together with them, and love things they love”, he said. Other Chinese carmakers such as BYD, Nio and Xpeng have entered European markets as well. In September, BYD shipped over 1.000 electric Tang SUVs to Norway, the country which has seen the quickest growth in electric cars. BYD’s first Norwegian customer, Per Lian, a salesman at a building ventilation company, said Norwegians would have no qualms about buying Chinese cars given the affordable price and good range. “I feel the quality is good. Most important are the prices, if you want to buy a Tesla, it is maybe double”, Lian said in an interview. Thanks to its vehicle quality and battery technology, BYD is the bestselling new energy vehicle maker in China. Last month, it delivered over 70.000 vehicles to Chinese customers, which was 20.000 more than Tesla. XPeng started to export its smart electric coupe P7 to Norway in August, after its G3 had made its way to the European market almost a year earlier. One month later, Chinese startup Nio opened its first European showroom in Oslo, Norway, with another 4 planned in 2022. The first model is its flagship SUV ES8, which rivals products from premium brands such as Audi and Mercedes-Benz. Nio said the second model will be the ET7 sedan, which will arrive in Norway in 2022. The carmaker also is building battery-exchange stations in the country. It takes only 3 minutes to swap a fully charged battery. It would take hours to get a vehicle fully charged. “The Norwegians are investing very heavily in green technology, and Nio, from China, is coming to Norway with their green technology such as exchange stations”, said Marius Hayler, CEO of Nio Norway. Nio said it plans to install 20 battery-exchange stations in Norway’s 5 largest cities and on some of the country’s major roads. “There is real competition in Norway now. Norway is the country with the greatest variety of EV models available”, said Christina Bu, secretary-general of the Norwegian EV Association. “But where the Chinese are really at the forefront is the technology”, said Bu, citing the digital assistant in the dashboard of Nio’s cars as an example. Nio Europe CEO Alexander Schwarz said, “Norway is the starting point in our journey in Europe and beyond”. +++

+++ DAIMLER announced the opening of a new research and development center in Beijing’s southern Yizhuang region. Senior executives claim its role will not only help the German carmaker compete with rivals in the Chinese market, but in Western markets too. The R&D center is the result of a 1.1 billion yuan ($172.03 million) investment and will employ around 1.000 engineers. It will focus on future electric models and products, and localization in China, according to the company. In reference to the opening, Hubertus Troska, a member of the board of management at Daimler who is responsible for China, said that he and the board not only recognize how strong the Chinese auto market is but how many new competitors there are. In an era of automotive transformation, multinational manufacturers such as Daimler face stiff competition not just from traditional rivals, but newcomers such as Tesla and China’s homegrown electric vehicle startups. Hans Georg Engel, senior executive vice-president of Daimler Greater China who heads up R&D at Mercedes-Benz Cars, said: “Our new R&D Tech Center China brings our technological capabilities to a new level. It also enables us to significantly increase speed and efficiency of our R&D activities”. The 55.000 square meter facility will be used to carry out testing in several areas, including electric powertrains, charging, ride, comfort and durability. The center’s eDrive lab is equipped with two test chambers that can simulate temperatures ranging from -30 C to 50 C. Daimler is not the only multinational carmaker with a sizable R&D budget in China. Late last year, Volkswagen inaugurated an R&D center in Anhui province dedicated to e-mobility. Similarly, BMW operates R&D facilities in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenyang in Liaoning province dedicated to the brand’s localization in the Chinese market. +++

+++ The majority of Chinese vehicle exports have been sold in developing countries for quite some time. But some companies are now seeking a change, making inroads into EUROPE , where modern cars were invented. “Chinese carmakers now have the courage and ability to take on European brands head-on”, Great Wall Motors said in a statement at last month’s Munich auto show. At the most important auto event in Europe, the carmaker, China’s largest SUV and pickup manufacturer and a partner of BMW, announced delivery of its models in Germany starting in 2022. Among the first will be its Coffee 01, a plug-in hybrid SUV under its high-end brand Wey (photo). The plug-in hybrid model has a range of 150 kilometers on electric mode only. It has a number of advanced driving-assist functions as well as smart cabin features like facial recognition and an augmented reality heads-up display. “As the vanguard of Great Wall Motors’ overseas strategy, Wey will start first in Germany and then move to other parts of Europe”, said Sun Bing, a senior executive in charge of the marque’s operations in the European Union. Wey said it will open the first European experience center in Munich in 2022 and over 60 service facilities will be set up in the same year. Ora, the electric brand of Great Wall Motors, announced its European campaign as well, with the first model to be delivered in 2022. The marque said it will offer 5 new-energy vehicle models within 2 years for customers in Europe, and more than 10 models will be available on the continent in 10 years. Great Wall Motors may take over a Nissan plant that is due to shut in December in Barcelona, Spain. Nissan announced last year that it is shutting 3 plants in Spain, Europe’s second-largest car producer, as part of a global restructuring. Analysts said this would facilitate Great Wall Motors’ efforts to gain a foothold in Europe. Other major Chinese carmakers, including SAIC, BYD as well as electric car startups such as Nio, Aiway and Xpeng, have been exploring the European market. “Only when Chinese auto companies enter the markets of developed countries can they truly participate in international competition”, said Cui Dongshu, secretary-general of the China Passenger Car Association. For more than a decade, China’s carmakers have tried to sell vehicles in developed markets, with mostly limited success. “They still have some heavy lifting to do to gain the trust of European and US consumers”, said Tu Le, founder of consultancy Sino Auto Insights. “They still need to take time. The BYD brand is still unfamiliar to the average US and European consumer. They need to invest that time, capital and education, create awareness and build trust”. BYD, China’s largest new-energy vehicle maker, shipped its first electric model, the Tang EV, to Norway this summer, as the first stop in its efforts to explore the European market. It plans to sell 1.500 units this year in the country. Some analysts said technologically there is an opportunity for Chinese carmakers to become established in Europe as the continent is shifting toward electrification. For 6 years, China has been the world’s largest producer of and market for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. Chinese carmakers are ahead of European giants including Volkswagen and Daimler in offering such products, and they are doing a far better job when it comes to smart operating systems for vehicles, industry experts said. Selling cars to Europeans is a “tough business, especially if your product isn’t well known”, said Arnie Richters, chairman of Brussels-based industry group Platform for Electromobility. “But if they bring a lot of innovation, they have a lot of opportunity”. Alexander Klose, executive vice-president of Chinese electric car startup Aiways, said the company aims to sell across the EU by next year and to enter the US market by 2023. “The fact that there are more Chinese carmakers entering the market will also help us, as it will make Chinese brands more accepted by consumers”, said Klose, a former executive at Volvo and Ford. William Li, founder of Chinese startup Nio, said its vehicles will be available in 5 European countries by 2022. He said the company has been discussing the possibility of entering the US, but it has not worked out a definitive plan. Li told that he foresees a long road to success in a mature market like Europe, adding that Chinese carmakers may need up to a decade to “gain a firm foothold” in the continent. Herbert Diess, chairman of Volkswagen, Europe’s largest carmaker, said he is happy that Chinese competitors are coming to Europe. “We like competition. I think that’s good for the customers because they get more offerings and it’s good for us because competition always is something positive”, Diess said. Volkswagen, which has brands ranging from Skoda to Audi, sold over 120.000 electric vehicles in the third quarter of this year worldwide. By 2030, it plans to have brought to market 70 fully electric models, and the company expects them to account for 60 percent of its new car sales in Europe. +++

+++ As someone who grew up with a passion for midsize saloons, it saddens me to see the Mondeo on its death bed. Production in Valencia, Spain will be coming to an end in late March 2022, and we can’t really blame FORD for pulling the plug on what once was its most important car on the Old Continent. Even though the nameplate has been around since the early 1990s, it’s now a shadow of its former self when we see a newcomer is already ahead in sales. Yes, the completely new Mustang Mach-E is already more popular in Europe where the electric SUV has racked up 15.602 sales through the third quarter of 2021. In the same 9 months of the year, the Mondeo only moved 10.427 units. It goes to show customer preferences are changing, and with SUVs still being all the rage while EVs are increasingly popular, the Mustang Mach-E has arrived at the perfect time. It’s also helped by its sports car name and some design traits resembling the iconic pony car. The Mustang Mach-E wasn’t even listed by Ford in the sales charts for the first 2 quarters of the year, with deliveries of the zero-emissions SUV being bundled with other “vehicles such as car derived vans and imports”. It’s there now for Q3 2021 results, generating 10.161 units or nearly 3 times more than the Mondeo in all of its three body styles: liftback, saloon, and estate. The midsize model is one of the slowest-selling Fords in Europe as even the ageing EcoSport, which has been totally eclipsed by the Puma, is still twice more popular. Yes, the subcompact crossover is more affordable, but on the other hand, lest we forget the Mustang Mach-E is pricier than the Mondeo even after you take into account any applicable EV grants. It goes to show Ford has made the right move to announce the Mondeo’s termination and channel its efforts towards another EV that will utilise Volkswagen’s MEB platform. An indirect Mondeo replacement could be heading to Europe, but rather than being a saloon, it’s expected to take the shape of a rugged Subaru Outback-esque model in the same vein as China’s rather interesting Evos model. +++

+++ Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to park your vehicle in a car park and not walk to your office because you have a “personal mobility vehicle” lodged right inside your boot? Well, that idea isn’t actually new, courtesy of Honda and its cutesy Motocompo foldable bike that fits inside a Honda Jazz from the ’80s. While you can still buy some of that nifty combo from auctions and used vehicle listings, some even brand new, HYUNDAI may have something in a similar vein in the near future, according to some patent filings. Filed under the name “folding personal mobility vehicle”, the documents published on Patent Guru date as far back as 2017, albeit publication just occurred in 2019. As you can see in the notable illustrations below, the device is fairly small and can fit inside a Hyundai vehicle boot, right under the floor. Early filings even show the foldable scooter shoehorned inside a door panel. While most of the previously published patents describe the folding mechanisms of the scooter, later patents show the addition of batteries, hinting at possible electrification. The latest one, just published this month, was discovered by The Drive, which illustrates some important details such as charging and pedestrian safety. According to the patents, the Hyundai electric scooter will come with charging mechanisms under the boot, while a fake engine sound will be produced by the scooter so that pedestrians will be aware of its presence. Whether will see this personal mobility vehicle inside a Hyundai Tucson or even the new Santa Cruz not-pickup truck is still uncertain. Patents don’t always reach the production stage, though we can’t say we don’t approve of the pretty cool idea. Timeline is likewise a guessing game at this point. +++

+++ In November 2020, SKODA boss Thomas Schäfer took to LinkedIn to announce there would be a next generation of the Fabia Combi. A month later, he reiterated the plan during an interview with Auto Motor und Sport. Earlier this year, the Mladá Boleslav company said the long-roof version of the supermini would switch to the all-new model in 2023. Despite several confirmations about launching a new small estate, Skoda has now cancelled the practical B-segment car altogether. Representatives of the Czech brand have now told the Fabia Combi is going away because Skoda needs to get ready for the tougher emissions regulations coming into effect around 2025 when Euro 7 standard will be introduced. Not only that, but the European Commission has set a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent by the end of the decade, so the VW Group brand has to plan ahead. With the Fabia Combi going away, Europe’s subcompact estate segment is now mostly dead. The recently unveiled Dacia Jogger is now your go-to small-ish estate on the Old Continent. However, bear in mind it’s 4.55-metres long, making it a veritable compact model only a bit smaller than the rest of the estates in the segment. The Jogger is also a crossover/MPV mashup whereas the Fabia Combi was an honest-to-God estate. Skoda fans can take comfort from knowing the 4th generation Fabia is much larger than its predecessor, thus making it a lot more practical. For those in need of a car larger than the supermini but not as big as the Octavia, the Scala can be considered as an indirect replacement for the Fabia Combi since its 467 litre cargo capacity is 87 litres higher than that of the hatchback. That said, the defunct Fabia estate had a 530 litre luggage capacity, which for the 4th generation model would’ve likely been even larger considering the hatch has significantly grown in size. Instead of introducing a new wagon powered by a combustion engine, Skoda has vowed to roll out no fewer than three new electric vehicles by the end of the decade. All of them will be cheaper and smaller than the Enyaq iV, which will spawn a “coupe” version in the coming weeks or months. With the EV push, the company estimates zero-emissions models will account for up to 70 percent of its European sales by 2030. +++

+++ TESLA said that it has built a research facility and a data center in Shanghai, both of which will be put into use soon, as the United States electric carmaker ramps up its localization strategy in the country. The R&D facility, Tesla’s first outside the US, employs engineers for software, electronics, materials and charging, it said in a statement. Tesla said the facility will develop over time similar in size to the one in the United States. “The goal of Tesla’s team in China is to design, develop and produce new vehicle models and products with Chinese cultural elements in China and sell them globally”, said Tesla in a recruitment post last month. Tesla’s China gigafactory, which is also located in Shanghai, started production in late 2019, and was its first vehicle manufacturing facility outside of the US. The plant, which now has an annual production capacity of 450.000 vehicles, is producing Model 3 and Model Y vehicles, and a big chunk of them are exported. The newly built data center in Shanghai will store Tesla’s operation data locally. At an industry forum in September, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said data security will become even more important when vehicles are becoming smart and autonomous. “Data security is not only the responsibility of any single company but also the cornerstone of the whole industry development. Tesla will work with national authorities in all countries to ensure data security of intelligent and connected vehicles”, he said. China issued trial guidelines on automobile data protection in August in a move to protect drivers’ privacy and safeguard national security as vehicles are becoming increasingly digitalized in the world’s largest auto market. Tesla said data about its vehicles sold in China as well as their local production, sales, after-service and charging information will be stored locally in the country. “Vehicle data security is crucial. We are convinced that their uniform and standard regulation benefits the sector’s long-term development. We at Tesla will observe the regulation and ensure data and personal information security”, said Tesla in a statement in August. Smart vehicles with sensors and operating systems are gaining in popularity worldwide. In China, the world’s largest vehicle market, around 15 percent of vehicles sold last year had some form of smart and autonomous functions, according to statistics from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. +++

+++ Tesla wants to shift to a less expensive battery for its electric vehicles, but first needs to figure out how to overcome political tensions to get a Chinese partner to build the iron-based batteries near its factories in the UNITED STATES . The world’s 2 biggest economies have yet to resolve disputes over tariffs, intellectual property rights and Chinese incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone. And China’s sweeping regulatory crackdown, aimed largely at the technology sector, could pose yet another hurdle. China adopted the technology early and makes 95 % of the world’s Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) batteries, but key patents expire soon and Tesla said it plans to adopt LFP batteries in its fleet of standard-range vehicles globally and move battery production closer to its factories. “Our goal is to localize all key parts of the vehicles on the continent”, Drew Baglino, senior vice president of powertrain and energy engineering at Tesla, said on an earnings call. Tesla is building factories in the United States and Germany. “We’re working internally with our suppliers to accomplish that goal, and not just at the end-assembly level but as far upstream as possible”. Tesla currently uses LFP batteries from China’s CATL in some China-made Model 3 and Model Ys, and in the United States it started sales of entry-level Model 3 sedans with LFP. LFP technology is considered to be cheaper and safer than nickel-based batteries, although they lack the same energy density as nickel-based ones to allow cars to travel farther on a single charge. The technology has garnered interest from EV makers. Apple is in early stage talks with China’s CATL and BYD to get LFP batteries for its planned electric vehicles and wants them to build factories in the United States. But CATL was reluctant to build a factory in the country due to political tensions between Washington and Beijing, as well as cost concerns, people said at that time. “We are evaluating the opportunity and possibility of manufacture localization in North America”, CATL said in a statement. “You cannot discount the whole geopolitical aspect of it”, said Sanjiv Malhotra, founder of battery startup Sparkz and former U.S. Department of Energy executive. “Our customers, they do not want to be caught in this political crossfire”, said the U.S. startup, which is looking at setting up LFP production lines in the United States to challenge China’s dominance. CATL is probably better off manufacturing in China, where they have access to the world’s lowest-cost materials, Roth Capital analyst Craig Irwin said. “A U.S. facility would need a better U.S. supply chain to get similar to the low cost available in China”. President Joe Biden has made it a priority to support the rollout of electric vehicles to combat climate change, but battery constraints could remain a key hurdle to his ambitious plan. China is the largest global EV market and dominates the supply chain for the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries, including the processing of minerals and raw materials. “I call LFP the battery of China, because you really only have CATL and BYD. So these are really the kind of pride and joy of China”, said Taylor Ogan, chief executive of Snow Bull Capital. Electric Last Mile Solutions Inc (ELMS), a commercial electric vehicle company which currently imports CATL’s battery packs, is in talks with the company about the possibility of sourcing batteries at CATL’s potential U.S. factory. Last year, CEO Elon Musk said Tesla would use LFP batteries for its China-made Model 3, saying the move would free up battery capacity for the Semi truck and other vehicles that require higher-density, long-range batteries based in nickel. Since then, Musk has pledged to use the tech in more vehicles and energy storage systems. A Houston energy project will use LFP batteries. The company is facing higher costs primarily due to cobalt prices rising around 70 % so far this year, with nickel up around 20 % and aluminum up around 50 %. Tesla uses these materials to make its batteries. +++

+++ VOLVO , owned by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, set the price for its initial public offering at 53 Swedish kronor ($6.18) each share, the lower end of its target range of up to 68 kronor. Volvo said its shares are set to begin trading on the Nasdaq Stockholm exchange in Sweden on Friday, October 29. The offering would value Volvo at just over $18 billion, much less than the $23 billion valuation that the company had hoped to achieve. In a failed attempt to float in 2018, it wished for a valuation of $30 billion. The lower pricing illustrates how traditional carmakers with ambitious electrification plans continue to struggle to achieve the valuations of such electric carmakers as Tesla as well as China’s trio of Nio, Xpeng and Li Auto. Volvo Cars seeks to sell only fully electric vehicles by the end of this decade and to build a battery plant in Europe. The company plans to use the IPO funds to add car-producing capacity and double annual sales to 1.2 million vehicles by 2025. Potential new investors refused to value Volvo’s business using the same math as used for new EV makers, saying Volvo’s transformation strategy was bold but still unproven. Instead, they indicated to Volvo that they were willing to value the company based on the lower multiples that traditional carmakers attract, one person familiar with the discussions said. Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson denied that the lower pricing suggested the company had run into difficulties selling the offering to investors, saying the company had considered a range of factors before paring back its IPO. “We are of course listening to the market”, he said. “We need to really secure our transformation. We need to secure free float liquidity in the share, but it’s also important to leave a possibility for the new shareholders to have a good value development”. While the company will raise less money than hoped, Samuelsson said the proceeds would still be sufficient to secure financing for Volvo’s transition to a fully electric auto maker over the next few years. China’s Geely bought Volvo for $1.8 billion in 2010 from Ford, the United States’ second largest carmaker. Volvo’s pricing values Geely’s post-IPO stake of 82 percent at around $15 billion, making the investment as one of the most profitable ones in the global auto industry. +++

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