By Ben Garcia

KUWAIT: Volvo yesterday unveiled the facelift of its S90 and V90 series at Khalijia Studio in Sharq. The new S90 series (2021 model facelift) is Volvo's premium 4-door, 5-seat flagship, built on the Scalable Product Architecture (SPA), Volvo's advanced modular vehicle platform that underpins all Volvo cars in the 90 and 60 Series launched in recent years.

"We are proud to unveil our new facelift in Kuwait. Even though we all have had a challenging year with the global pandemic, we have decided that it is crucial to go ahead with the launch that coincides with BNK Automotive's first anniversary in Kuwait as the official Volvo partner in Kuwait. In just a year and despite the pandemic, the team has worked hard to reposition the Volvo Car brand in the Kuwaiti market. Today we are proud to announce that we have increased sales by 250 percent YTD, a fantastic milestone to celebrate," Cherif El Sayed, General Manager, BNK Automotive-Volvo Car Kuwait said.

"We continue to grow month by month and are on our way to build a robust organization ready to excel and embark on a continued growth journey starting from 2021. We are also extremely thankful to our clients for helping us regain the unprecedented trust and confidence in Volvo as a brand. BNK Automotive treasures this trust and we promise to continue shaping the future of the automotive industry to enhance customer service and the consumer journey in Kuwait during the years to come," Sayed added.

With the S90 and V90 series MY21, customers can enjoy additional safety features, wireless charging technology, added sensors and robotic features. "The iPad like screen in the center console of the car helps you control all the features of our cars. The main differences in our MY21 are the elegant facelifts notable in both the front and back of the car, hidden exhaust pipes in preparation for the electrification strategy, a wireless charging pad, a highly sensitive air filter with particle sensor so that people can enjoy the finest cabin air quality," Sayed said.

Volvo's electrification strategy is that by 2025, all cars will be electrified - meaning all cars will be offered in both hybrid and fully electric, he said. "In Kuwait, we are proud to be the only brand that has sold 30+ hybrids in the market. The T8 engine combines a premium electric driving experience while giving you the power you need on the road with an output of 410 HP," he noted.

In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, Volvo's strategy is clear, according to Sayed. "With or without the pandemic, we are going digital to enhance the customer experience and address the pain points of our clients. Soon, Volvo owners will be able to buy, sell, test-drive, speak to a sales consultant and service their cars from the comfort of their homes. The buying experience is slowly moving online in this industry, and we are happy to serve our clients in the most modern and efficient way possible," Sayed said.

Sayed said technology in Volvo cars will be continuously evolving, "where we anticipate Google Assist and machine learning in the new platforms, starting with the XC40 fully electric next year". "The car will be able to interact with the driver. The car will be able to detect and learn the way you talk and the way you pronounce words.

It will be learned by the car and it will give you honest feedback when you are driving. We will have technology in the car that will protect drivers - the car will know through the pattern of your eyelids if you are intoxicated. The car will automatically stop and will not move at all if you are intoxicated. The car will reduce speed while on roads and highways based on the speed limit set by the government," he said.

"We are competing with premium brands like BMW, Audi and Mercedes," Sayed mentioned. After repositioning the Volvo brand in Kuwait, Volvo's market share increased from a mere 2 percent to 5 percent, and it is very optimistic for a larger share in the coming years.