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Volvo launches initiative to hire more U.S. military veterans to service hybrids

Volvo is looking for veterans who want to become hybrid vehicle technicians.

Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

Volvo isn't just building its presence in the U.S. with its new South Carolina plant and influx of dealerships nationwide, they're also looking for a few good men and women to join their new army of certified automotive technicians.

The company's fresh Veteran Technician Careers Program U.S. military veterans as well as National Guard and Reserve members, for careers as Volvo Quality Level Technicians and Volvo Hybrid Specialists across its U.S. dealership network.

Volvo USA military dealership adVolvo recently launched a campaign aimed at recently separated military personnel.Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

To become either a Volvo Quality Level Technician or Volvo Hybrid Specialist, participants first complete a comprehensive training program at one of several Volvo Cars Training Centers across the U.S. The four-week program combines eLearning with resident training, followed by a year of on-the-job training at a participating Volvo Cars retailer through a competency-based, registered apprenticeship program.

Those eligible for GI Bill benefits can receive a monthly stipend to aid in their successful transition from military service to a new career with a participating Volvo Cars retailer.

Volvo worked with Calibre Systems Inc. to develop the program. Calibre is an employee-owned management consulting and digital transformation company that supports defense, federal/civil, national security, and commercial clients. The companies will place up to 120 former military members in the U.S. dealer network annually through this program.

In the past six years, Volvo has introduced a completely redesigned lineup. The company now produces the Volvo XC90, XC60, and XC40 SUVs; S90 and S60 sedans; and V90, V90 CC, V60, and V60 wagons.

The company opened its South Carolina plant in 2018 after three years of construction. The S60 is currently made at the factory for domestic sale and export. Volvo Car University, a workforce training and leadership development facility, opened in 2019. The next-generation Volvo XC90 will be built at the plant starting in 2022.

Those interested in the program may apply online at www.VolvoCarTechs.com

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Just 55 of the SUV will be built.

Mercedes

The Mercedes-Benz G-Class is an aspirational vehicle, and is one that shouts "I've made it" to the world. Its six-figure price tag legitimate military background, and hardcore off-road capabilities make it appealing on many levels, and there's even a go-fast version from AMG. The G63 cranks up the already bonkers G-Class to 11, with a big V8 and aggressive styling. To commemorate AMG's 55th year tuning Mercedes' vehicles, the automaker is releasing a limited "Edition 55" G 63.

Mercedes-AMG G 63 "Edition 55"The Edition 55 gets unique styling touches inside and out. Mercedes

Though the Edition 55 adds plenty of unique flair to the AMG-massaged G-Wagen, the SUV's beating heart remains untouched. It's a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 making 577 horsepower, and is good for a 0-60 mph time of just 4.5 seconds. That's in an SUV with a curb weight just shy of 6,000 pounds. Four-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic transmission are also standard.

Mercedes says the Edition 55 comes finished in Obsidian Black metallic and rides on 22-inch forged wheels, even though the images it sent to accompany the announcement clearly show a not-black SUV. It also comes with the AMG Night Package, which brings blacked-out trim and unique accents, and the fuel filler cap is embossed with the AMG logo. Inside, the cabin features a black and red color scheme with stainless steel accents throughout. Black velour floor mats stitched with "Edition 55" in red are standard, along with an AMG Performance steering wheel wrapped in microfiber. The seats are covered in black and red Nappa leather upholstery, and Edition 55 badges are seen throughout the space.

Mercedes-AMG G 63 "Edition 55"The 577-hp super SUV can sprint to 60 mph quicker than many sports cars. Mercedes

When Mercedes says "limited edition" here, it means business. Just 55 of the SUVs will be available in the United States, and will be released later this year. There's no word on ordering or pricing details yet, but it's a safe bet that the ultra-exclusive G-Wagen will sell out quickly.

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Volvo will install 60 ChargePoint chargers at Starbucks locations in the west and Northwest.

Volvo

Volvo plans to be an electric-only automaker by 2030, and along the way to that goal, the automaker is investing in services and infrastructure to support its vehicles. Today, Volvo announced a partnership with coffee giant Starbucks that will provide dozens of chargers at coffee shops in the west and northwest U.S.

As part of the deal, Volvo will install up to 60 company-branded chargers at up to 15 Starbucks stores on the route between Denver and Seattle. Volvo says it aims to install charging locations every 100 miles along the 1,350-mile route between the Mile-High City and Starbucks hometown of Seattle.

Volvo-Starbucks PartnershipVolvo's goal is to install a charger every 100 miles. Volvo

Though they'll have Volvo's name on the front, the chargers are from ChargePoint, and drivers will use a built-in ChargePoint app to access services. The function is available in the vehicle's infotainment system, and will help locate and use the chargers. Volvo says all EV drivers will be able to access the chargers for a fee, but notes that its owners will get free or discounted charging.

A Volvo-Starbucks partnership isn't as crazy as it sounds at first. Beyond the fact that there's likely quite a bit of overlap in both brands' customers, the move furthers Starbucks' sustainability goals and provides Volvo owners with a free or low-cost charging solution. The project should be done by the end of this year, so keep your eyes open if you're getting coffee in a Volvo EV in the area.

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