President Hu Jintao is head of state of China’s almost 1.4 billion people, who make up the world’s fastest-growing economy. He asked to visit a major Swedish industry while on his state visit to Sweden. Volvo was given the honour of hosting the Chinese premier. First, however, he welcomed back the Swedish ship Götheborg as it sailed into its home port of Göteborg after its long maiden voyage to China. The vessel, which is officially sponsored by Volvo, had been at sea for 22 months on a voyage that has aroused immense attention the world over – not least in China. Read more
After welcoming the Götheborg back home, President Hu Jintao and his retinue visited the Volvo Demo Centre in Göteborg. The Chinese premier’s retinue included a number of Chinese ministers, the Swedish royal couple and Prince Carl Philip, Swedish ministers and local politicians.
Volvo Group CEO Leif Johansson talked about his company’s aims for the future and in particular Volvo’s plans for China. Among much else, he mentioned the ongoing discussions with Chinese truck manufacturer Dongfeng on the possibility of a strategic alliance.
“This alliance would be the strongest in the world in the area of commercial vehicles,” he said and continued: “We are convinced of and have high expectations concerning the strategic benefits to both companies, both in China and the rest of the world. This wider market would permit growth for components and vehicles, for Dongfeng and Volvo alike,” he said.
After that, the entire group had the opportunity to walk around and study five built-up assembly stations in the hall where fitters from the Tuve factory demonstrated what they work with on a daily basis.
On their factory walkabout, Leif Johansson talked to his Chinese guest about hybrid technology, which will be launched in series production within a few years. Initially for trucks, city buses, construction machines and short-haul transportation duties.