As new technology plays a decisive part in achieving results, city representatives often turn to the bus manufacturers for help.
For this reason, it is no longer enough simply to sell buses. The bus manufacturers must instead raise their sights and offer customers help with developing improved, cleaner public transport.
“We need to act as a partner to decision-makers and bus operators.”
So says Jessica Sandström, head of the recently created City Mobility Team at Volvo Buses.
This team’s work is directly linked to the Group’s vision of being a world leader when it comes to sustainable transport solutions.
The idea of setting up a City Mobility Team first saw the light of day just over a year ago in connection with a Group-wide conference on electromobility and the importance of investing in and selling more hybrids and electric vehicles. Jessica Sandström, who has been involved in the development of this technology from the very start, and some of her colleagues discussed the potential for taking another step.
“Volvo Buses is a leader in electromobility. We sell hybrid buses all over the world and have a high level of credibility. Customers listen to us. So we need to take advantage of this now. I’m convinced that, by setting up this City Mobility Team, we are going to boost our sales,” she says.
The City Mobility Team is made up of seven hand-picked experts on transport solutions from Volvo Buses.
The objective is that this team will create networks with a number of cities worldwide and sign contracts with them. As things stand, five cities, Hamburg, Luxembourg, Montreal, Stockholm and Gothenburg, have signed an agreement of this kind.
“These are cities that we know have a huge need and, at the same time, they are at the cutting edge and are working actively in an attempt to change their environment,” Jessica Sandström continues.
One important part of the work involves learning to understand the conditions in these cities. This is often done via the Volvo Buses representatives on the spot.
“Our strength is that we combine expertise when it comes to electromobility and transport solutions with knowledge of the local conditions. We need to do our homework and know what we’re talking about when we present our offers,” she explains.
Things are going well. There is a huge amount of interest. In addition to the five official cities, there are about 10 others where discussions and negotiations are in progress. Edinburgh is one of them.
Jessica describes working with the City Mobility Team as incredibly exciting and inspirational.
“I am really filled with enthusiasm! We can see how bad things are in many cities and so, if we can use our knowledge to make improvements, that’s fantastic! At the same time, it’s good for our brand and our business,” she says.
The means of solving problems in the world’s cities can vary to some degree, according to Jessica Sandström. In Europe, it may be a question of creating the image of an attractive, accessible city, while, in South America and Asia, emergency action in order to deal rapidly with enormous congestion and large emission volumes is the order of the day.