How does the Volvo Group handle this?
The Volvo Group’s Governmental Sales business area sells vehicles and engines adapted for operations in defense, security and international projects, such as aid work and UN efforts. The products comprise primarily trucks but also military vehicles, buses, construction equipment, boat engines and industrial engines. During 2011, sales of military products amounted to less than 1% of the Volvo Group’s operation.
What type of products and customers are involved?
The vehicles are divided into categories; defense, security and international projects. Defense pertains to vehicles for military authorities in selected markets, for example, the defense force in Sweden or France. Security sales pertain primarily to such authorities as the police, but also to security companies. International projects refer to sales to authorities and organizations that are responsible for humanitarian and peace-keeping forces, such as the UN, Red Cross and the World Bank.
Is this a new operation?
No, we have had authorities and governments as customers throughout our history as a company. The Volvo Group commenced delivering trucks to the Swedish defense already in the 1930s.
Does the Volvo Group manufacture weapons?
The Volvo Group does not manufacture weapons and will not do so in the future either. Furthermore, we comply with the guidelines and regulations set up by such intergovernmental bodies as the UN and EU and by the authorities that regulate export of war equipment in the countries in which we operate, for example, the Swedish Agency for Non-Proliferation and Export Controls (ISP). Most of the sales occur to France, the US and to the Nordic countries.
How does the Volvo Group view sales of military vehicles from an ethical perspective?
According to international law, all states are entitled to their own defense. We always comply with applicable rules and regulations and any sanctions decided by the UN, EU or other bodies. Sales and export of military equipment are also regulated by a number of national authorities, whose decisions we always comply with.
What was the purpose of the acquisition of the vehicle manufacturer Panhard, which Volvo acquired last year?
The sale of military vehicles is a complement to our offering of other transport vehicles to customers outside the civil market. With the acquisition of Panhard, we have the opportunity to offer a broader vehicle range to military customers. Panhard manufactures primarily light, terrain, military transport vehicles. We are aware that Panhard has also manufactured certain combat vehicles, such as the ERC90 model. These are no longer in production. As in all newly acquired operations, we will also be reviewing Panhard’s future product offering.
Is the Volvo Group planning to acquire the French company Nexter, which manufactures defense products?
No, the Volvo Group has no such plans. The information published in the Swedish media is incorrect.
Link to press release, Feb 7, 2013:
Volvo dismisses media speculation concerning acquisition of Nexter of France