Swedish engineering students have selected Volvo Cars as the most attractive employer in the country. For the first time, Volvo is the number-one employer of choice among bachelor engineering students, and is ranked second among masters engineering students.
These results were published in March in the FöretagsBarometern by Universum survey, an annual research study in which roughly 21,000 higher-education students in Sweden rank the most attractive employers in the country.
"Talents from the next generation are not just expecting a job; they are expecting a context where they can reach their full potential," explains Claes Peyron at Universum. "To become an attractive employer in 2017, it's not enough to offer a salary at a competitive level and safe employment."
This, Mr. Peyron argues, puts high demands on companies to offer a higher purpose and social engagement; to be innovative, and to see each employee as an individual.
It bears noting that Volvo was in March recognized as a 2017 "World's Most Ethical Company" by Ethisphere. The Swedes cited their focus on corruption, human rights, competition law, and data privacy as the keys to their standing among 124 companies who received the award.
The auto industry is changing, with areas such as software, electrification, and connectivity becoming increasingly important. This development requires a new type of knowledge at Volvo Cars.
Volvo has in the last five years employed an additional 10,000 people around the world, including more than 2,000 engineers in Gothenburg, Sweden. The company is looking for hundreds of new software engineers to strengthen the development of next-generation technologies in safety, autonomous driving, and electrification.
Last August, Volvo and Uber signed a $300 million agreement to put self-driving Volvo cars on the streets of San Francisco. You may already have seen an XC90 or two running around with roof-mounted control apparatus and an Uber technician on board - monitoring, rather than driving.
While partnering with Google to bring Android into its next-generation connected cars, Volvo this year performed a graphical refinement of the "Sensus" user interface in the new XC60 SUV and its 90-series (S90 sedan and XC90 SUV) vehicles, improving usability while presenting a refreshed, clean, and appealing design.
Volvo has more than 31,000 employees worldwide. In operation since 1927, the company last year sold more than half a million vehicles across one hundred countries. Purchased by Ford in 1999, Volvo was sold to China's Zhejiang Geely Holding in 2010.
The $11 billion infusion of Chinese capital has enabled Volvo to continue developing the safety technology for which it is known, including City Safety (which helps to avoid collisions with vehicles, pedestrians, and large animals), Oncoming Lane Mitigation (which uses steer assist to help mitigate head-on collisions), and Pilot Assist, a semi-autonomous driver assistance system which takes care of steering, acceleration, and braking on well-marked roads up to 70 mph. Volvo's Blind Spot Information System, which alerts drivers to the presence of vehicles in their blind spot, has also received an update to include steer-assist functionality that helps to avoid potential collisions with vehicles by steering the car back into its own lane and away from danger.
"Our vision is that no one will be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car by the year 2020," projects Malin Ekholm, Senior Director of the Volvo Cars' Safety Center.
Characteristically, Volvo is not keeping its technology to itself. It has formed "Zenuity," a joint venture with Autoliv, the leading automotive safety technology company. The new company will design and manufacture separately-branded autonomous-driving and driver-assistance software technology packages for sale to third-party OEMs. While Volvo can source Zenuity's products, so too can everyone else. There is no exclusivity toward any customer or the owners, Volvo being content to reap the benefits of world-leading competence in a key technology area. Zenuity is headquartered in Gothenburg, with 100 engineers from each of Autoliv and Volvo. It is looking for another 400 engineers in the medium term.
Volvo Cars' head office, product development, marketing, and administration are mainly located in Gothenburg, Sweden, as is its main car production plant. Volvo also operates plants in Ghent (Belgium), and in China (Chengdu and Daqing), administered from its Chinese head office in Shanghai. Engines are sourced from Skövde (Sweden) and Zhangjiakou (China), while body components come from Olofström (Sweden).
Visit Volvo Car Group Careers for open positions.