Volvo Cars is expanding its operations in Stockholm with the creation of a tech hub in the Swedish capital, which will be home to more than 700 IT professionals.
The car manufacturer wants to bring software development in-house and is looking for software engineers, data scientists and experts in analytics, product management, online business and user experience.
The Sweden-headquartered firm wants the hub to support its focus on increasing online sales and software product development, as part of its digital transformation.
Software is becoming central to car manufacturing and is now seen as a key differentiator for car makers. Volvo Cars said: “Cars are increasingly defined by software rather than traditional automotive attributes.”
Volvo wants to develop at least half of all its software in-house and sell at least half of all its cars online by the middle of this decade.
Stockholm is an established tech hub, with an ecosystem of startups alongside more traditional companies. Volvo Cars hopes to attract hundreds of new tech professionals from across the world.
“It is the home and birthplace of several globally successful billion-dollar tech companies, and has an international appeal to the global tech scene,” said the company.
Hanna Fager, head of corporate functions at Volvo Cars, added: “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.”
The manufacturer is increasing online direct sales as part of its move into selling electric cars. “The focus on online sales and direct relationships includes creating a simplified and straightforward process for ordering a Volvo car, with transparent pricing, clear product information and clarity on delivery times,” said the company in a statement.
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Volvo wants to develop software to personalise car ownership for customers. “That is why we are investing in product and tech, and expanding in Stockholm to access the wealth of talent in everything from product management to software engineering and user experience,” said Henrik Green, chief product officer at the company.
The tech hub will be renovated and modernised later this year.
In an interview with Computer Weekly last year, Patrik Bengtsson, head of software platform at Volvo Cars, said multiple levels of transformation are driving digitisation of the automotive industry, with one common enabler – software.
“When we look at the current architecture of the car, more and more features are software-driven,” he said. “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 said a Volvo car will typically use about 180 computers, but the company is reducing this number by moving the computing modules with the most functionality into core hardware components. The core computing system, which will be introduced on a new Volvo model set to be revealed in 2022, comprises three main computers, which support each other in operating vision processing and artificial intelligence, general computing and infotainment.