Australian Caradvice has the riveting story of (Geely-owned) Volvo discontinuing plans of a large S-Class type sedan that could mix it up with the likes of the Audi A8, the BMW 7er, and of course the Mercedes S-Class, all very much in favor amongst the Chinese rich and not so famous. Cardadvice makes it a fight between Geely CEO Li Shufu, who wanted the big Volvo, and his new hire Stefan Jacoby, whom he had snatched from VWoA to run Volvo, and who doesn’t want a big Volvo. The truth is elsewhere.
Jacoby told Automotive News in an email: “Mr. Shufu expressed a vision of where he would like Volvo to be in the future, and that vision includes a 7 Series and S-Class rival. However, short or mid-term, Volvo Cars does not have such a model in the product plan.” So there.
Cardavice rightly says: “Does Volvo really need a larger sedan though?” No, they don’t. The plans had grown on a proposed Chinese law that would shift a large chunk of cars bought by the government to home-grown brands. This would have been Volvo’s big opening. No more stretched A6, Chinese for “here comes a bigwig.” But as so often, proposed Chinese rules are being discussed in public and in the media, and if they don’t receive traction, they are shelved. (It’s an odd kind of democracy, but it is quite effective.) The bigwigs are not giving up their Benzes (made in joint venture with Beijing). The big joint ventures are all government-owned anyway, only BMW’s partner Brilliance is sort of private. Geely is private. Both Shufu and Jacoby made the right decision: It’s not worth it.