Volvo Isn’t Bringing Any Actual Cars To The LA Auto Show

Automakers have been streaming out of motor shows like a movie theater on fire. And that’ll include this year’s LA Auto Show. But Volvo is taking a different approach.

The Swedish carmaker will be present next week when the show opens. But it won’t have a single car on display. Instead it’ll have an almost entirely empty show stand, with a sculptural instillation at its center stating the obvious: This Is Not A Car.

The revelation of Volvo’s unconventional plans for the Californian mobility expo follow after yesterday’s teaser that showed a smartphone with the words “this is not a phone,” kicking off a raft of speculation as to what Gothenburg had (or didn’t have) in store.

“By calling the trade show Automobility LA, the organisers have recognised the disruption affecting our industry,” said Volvo’s product-strategy chief Mårten Levenstam. “We want to demonstrate that we got the memo and start a conversation about the future of automobility. So instead of bringing a concept car, we talk about the concept of a car. We will not win the ‘car of the show’ award this year, but we are comfortable with that. Because this is not a car show.”

The declarative installation won’t be the only thing on Volvo’s stand, though. While it won’t bring any actual vehicles, it will feature “a number of interactive demonstrations” showcasing services like in-car delivery, car sharing, subscription services, and self-driving technology.

“Our industry is changing. Rather than just building and selling cars, we will really provide our customers with the freedom to move in a personal, sustainable and safe way,” said CEO Håkan Samuelsson. “We offer our customers access to a car, including new attractive services whenever and wherever they want it.”

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