EXCLUSIVE: Volvo’s new president sets out vision for the future, at Intermat Paris 2018


Volvo Construction Equipment’s new president Melker Jernberg made his first major show appearance, since taking on his new role at the beginning of 2018, today (April 25) at Intermat Paris. And used the event to reveal a little of his vision for the future.

Taking part in a special presentation on the Volvo stand, alongside representatives from Volvo Penta and Volvo Trucks, he began by commenting on positive first quarter results for Volvo CE, which showed sales of construction equipment to be up by 30%. “We saw very good sales in all mediums,” he said. “We proved that we are flexible. We saw good progress in China both through Volvo and with our partner SDLG.”

Jernberg was then able to give attendees a flavor of his vision for the future of construction machinery. He spoke about the three key disruptive technologies that he will be paying close attention to in the coming years: intelligent machines, electrification, and connectivity.

“We are in a really exciting time,” said Jernberg. “We have a lot of challenges but also a lot of solutions. When we look back we will say that now is the beginning of a new era. The speed of change is very high. But all of us can play an important part in building a better world and a better future.

“For example, connectivity can help us to develop new business models, services and products, which means better productivity. But I think also that this connectivity can enable us to help society, by helping us to control sites, optimize logistic flows, and optimize infrastructure, which helps reduce environmental footprints and improve safety. Today, within Volvo Group, we have more than 700,000 connected vehicles, which proves where we are on this journey.”

“Looking into the future we are putting money and resources into advanced engineering,” he continued. “And we are constantly, within the group, challenging and developing technology to address the three disruptive technologies of intelligent machines, electrification and connectivity. We do this, of course through R&D – we have 10,000 R&D engineers in 15 different facilities around the world – but also through stakeholders in the industry, customers and academia.”

Jernberg then went on to highlight some of the successful Volvo research projects currently underway – including its EX2 electric excavator, hybrid wheel loader, mini autonomous hauler and electric site research project, which has the aim of reducing carbon emissions by 95%.

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Tom Stone is Editor of the iVT brand – which includes digital and print editions of a quarterly magazine and the Advanced Lift-truck supplement, as well as ivtinternational.com, which is updated daily. Tom has met and interviewed some of the world's leading industrial vehicle OEM presidents, CEOs and MDs, and takes great pride in cementing iVT's place as the leading forum for debate within the industry, a reputation that his been built up over the brand's 25-year history.

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