Swedish car manufacturer, Volvo, has decided to limit the top speed of all its vehicles to 180km/h from 2020 onwards. The brand is well-known for its impeccable safety standards and this is the next step in ensuring driver and passenger safety. Formex indirectly supplies automotive components to Volvo.

This speed limiter will be installed on all Volvo vehicles sold in South Africa, says Volvo SA managing director Greg Maruszewski. The major cause of death in traffic collisions is attributed to speed, so by limiting the top speed of their cars, Volvo is hoping to improve safety and accident survivability. The brand’s objective is to ensure that no person is killed in a new Volvo after 2020.

The brand has led safety standards across the globe for many years. In the United Kingdom, not one Volvo XC90 occupant has passed away in a car-to-car collision since 2004, according to Maruszewski. Over 70 000 Volvo XC90s have been sold in the UK alone.

Top speed control technology

Not only will top speed limiters be installed on all Volvo engines, but the brand is also looking at ways to limit speeds in sensitive areas. Using the vehicle’s GPS system, Volvo is aiming to limit the speed of active cars around schools, playgrounds, public spaces and hazardous roads.

Volvo will also introduce a Care Key system to its new models from 2021 onwards. This Care Key will enable drivers to set further limits on the vehicle’s speed before allowing family members or inexperienced drivers to drive their cars. Maruszewski does admit that there may be some negative feedback on these safety systems initially, but common sense will prevail as safety has no price.

Volvo also tackling drunk driving

The top speed limiter will be followed within a couple of years by internal camera technology that will be able to detect if the driver is distracted or intoxicated. If the camera detects an unsafe driver, an audible warning will sound and the vehicle will slow down automatically and pull over to the side of the road.

“Examples of such behaviour include a complete lack of steering input for extended periods of time, drivers who are detected to have their eyes closed or off the road for extended periods of time, as well as extreme weaving across lanes or excessively slow reaction times,” explains Maruszewski.

Volvo will continue to be a leading brand in vehicle safety with these rollouts of technology and equipment. Occupant safety and pedestrian protection are far more important than top speed to Volvo. Consumers and owners will appreciate these safety features that are set to be released next year.


Formex Industries is a metal forming and assembly company that supplies a variety of complex products to the local automotive industry and export market. The company is based in the Nelson Mandela Bay metropole, South Africa’s foremost region for automotive manufacturing and export.

Formex specialises in producing components for the catalytic converter industry, as well as metal components and assemblies for the various vehicles. Formex aims to become one of the foremost suppliers for the South African automotive industry by 2035, aligning itself with the South African Automotive Masterplan (SAAM) which takes effect in 2020.

Formex is a Level 2 B-BBEE supplier with over 80% black ownership, of which more than 40% are black women. The company is owned by Deneb Investments Limited – a subsidiary of Hosken Consolidated Investments Limited (HCI) – one of South Africa’s biggest true B-BBEE companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

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