A new lease of life

In 1945, Volvo Cars began renovating gearboxes in the small Swedish town of Köping. Today, our commitment to remanufacturing Volvo Genuine Parts is stronger than ever: which is good news for you, your car and the environment.

KENNETH ANDERSON

The little Swedish town of Köping.

Volvo Cars Exchange System

More than 70 seventy years ago, Volvo Cars decided to start renovating gearboxes in the small Swedish town of Köping. What began as a short-term solution to a post-war shortage of raw materials, soon became permanent practice and paved the way for one of the most extensive ranges of remanufactured exchange parts in the automotive industry – the Volvo Cars Exchange System. Today, we are all too aware that the Earth’s resources are not infinite. So, we all do whatever we can to make sure as little as possible goes to waste.

In many countries, recycling is now such an integral part of daily life that finding a kitchen without some kind of recycling system in place is almost as strange as finding one without a cooker. But even if sorting our household waste now feels second nature, we still have to ask ourselves, “Is recycling always the best option?” Well, when it comes to the parts in your Volvo, the answer is no.

So, what happens to the worn-out parts in Volvo cars when it’s time for them to be replaced? And if recycling isn’t the best option, then what is? The answer is remanufacturing – a process Volvo Cars has been making the most of since 1945.

Better than recycling

All parts in Volvo cars are produced according to the most stringent safety and environmental standards – both in terms of raw materials and manufacturing processes. When you have parts of this quality at your disposal, it makes sense to make the most of them once they wear out, instead of simply scrapping them. So, that is exactly what we do.

When certain parts in Volvo cars eventually wear out, they are carefully disassembled and – if they’re not damaged or worn out – meticulously remanufactured to the same high standards as the original. Once a part has been remanufactured to meet Volvo Cars’ standards, it enters the Volvo Cars Exchange System, where it waits patiently for the opportunity to get back on the road.

A solution that benefits everyone

But why don’t you just recycle them, we hear you ask? Well, the processes involved in recycling objects like car components use up large amounts of energy. So, by remanufacturing the parts in our cars instead, we actually limit our impact on the environment even further. Here are some facts and figures to prove our point…

Remanufactured parts require up to 85% less raw material and 80% less energy than newly made parts. By remanufacturing used parts, we can save up to 980 tonnes of steel and 350 tonnes of aluminium per year. And, in terms of CO2 emissions, we’re saving the equivalent of driving around the world 1,326 times in a Volvo V40 D2.

But it’s not just the environment that benefits from remanufacturing, your car can benefit too. All remanufactured parts fulfil the same quality standards and have the same warranty as newly-made Volvo Genuine Parts. They are also upgraded to the latest specifications, which means they can actually perform even better second time around – what’s more, remanufacturing is extremely cost-effective.

Past, present and future

Today, the Volvo Cars Exchange System offers one of the most extensive ranges of remanufactured exchange parts in the automotive industry. The range covers exchange parts for cars for up to 15 years after production and includes everything from gearboxes to injectors and electronic components – all meticulously restored to Volvo Cars’ original specifications.

But when it comes to remanufacturing, we don’t just focus on parts for past or present Volvo models. The increasing use of electrification and hybrid technologies means we also have to focus on the future. Volvo Cars has spent years preparing for the new challenges associated with the handling of high-voltage battery packs and other powertrain components for Twin Engine cars.

Designing with tomorrow in mind

Today, the remanufacturing and design departments at Volvo Cars work together and invest huge amounts of time, effort and expertise into coming up with design solutions that may simplify a part’s disassembly in the future, e.g. using screws instead of glue or welded joints when sealing the casing of high voltage batteries and other components.

It may feel like a small step, but when it come to the environment, every step forward counts. When you consider the potential benefits to you, your car and the world around you, remanufacturing really does seem like the most responsible road to take.