Ford Motor Company is setting up a centre to spearhead the development of hybrid vehicles.
The centre, which will be in Gothenburg in Sweden, will develop hybrid concepts for both Ford of Europe and its Premier Automotive Group, which comprises Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin and Volvo. It will be staffed by a mix of 20 leading engineers from Volvo and other Ford-owned brands.
The centre is part of a global initiative by Ford to speed up the introduction of fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles. The market is dominated by Toyota with its Prius model.
Although the centre will be located in Gothenburg, each brand within Ford’s European operations will be responsible for applying new technologies to their own product portfolios. The team at the new hybrid centre will also work closely with Ford’s hybrid development centre in Detroit in the US.
As part of the move, Volvo is investing Skr10bn (&£740m) in environmental research and development. The aim is to improve the emissions and fuel economy of Volvo cars.
President and chief executive of Volvo, Fredrik Arp, says: “Volvo Cars’ commitment to the environment is long-standing and well recognised. It is part of what people know us for.
“With this investment, we are ensuring that our tradition continues in the years to come, and that Volvo customers’ green aspirations will be met.”