Swedish carmaker Volvo Cars said on Thursday that its vehicle range will go leather-free or 'vegan-friendly' by 2030, offering instead bio-based and recycled materials to a customer base that increasingly wants sustainably sourced products. "We've got a new generation of customers coming through, they're far more interested in the products they buy and having an ethical story behind them," Robin Page, Volvo's head of design, told Reuters. Volvo said the shift recognises customer concerns over animal welfare issues in the leather industry and the environmental impacts of cattle farming.
China's Geely Holding is in advanced discussions with banks to list its Volvo Cars unit in the coming weeks, three sources told Reuters, in what is expected to be one of Europe's biggest initial public offerings (IPOs) this year. Volvo Cars is aiming for a valuation of about $20 billion in the planned Stockholm listing, the sources said, with one saying the launch was pencilled in for the end of September. Goldman Sachs and SEB are leading the transaction, while other banks including BNP Paribas, Carnegie and HSBC are also involved in the deal, the sources added.
A Swedish court on Wednesday sentenced a 47-year-old man to three years in prison for spying for Russia, which involved selling secret information from truckmaker Scania. The court said it had found the man guilty of acquiring and selling the secret information from the truckmaker to a Russian embassy official. The court acquitted the man of similar espionage charges at Geely-owned carmaker Volvo Cars.