By on October 15, 2012

Anemic demand is causing Volvo to shut down their main Swedish factory for one week, starting October 29th.

The shutdown coincides with a holiday week in Sweden, but the move still comes at a time when European auto sales are struggling amidst dire economic conditions. Volvo is targeting sales of 800,000 units worldwide by 2020, and company officials say that they are still on track to meet this goal.

The most troubling piece of information comes from Jan Gurander, Volvo’s acting CEO, who told Reuters

Europe is the main market for Volvo Car Corp. and the continued recession is naturally affecting the demand for our cars,”

That’s enough to put anyone in the hospital. Unfortunately, stress related incidents are a very real phenomenon.

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16 Comments on “Volvo Shuts Down Swedish Factory For One Week...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Volvo is targeting sales of 800,000 units worldwide by 2020″

    US sales through August 2012 were 46,000 units in the US. I’m not seeing worldwide figures in my Googles, but the US is probably their biggest export market at the moment. So lets be generous and assume Europe/US sales may do 150K units, and they intend to hit 800K units annually in less thank eight years?

    http://forums.swedespeed.com/showthread.php?180344-Volvo-Posts-Sales-Figures-August-2012

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      I’d be surprised if Europe isn’t comfortably bigger than the US. Scandinavia alone must take off a good chunk of your 75,000-odd allotment. They still sell an awful lot of wagons there.

  • avatar

    People who own Volvo products are dyed in the wood that they are the safer Cars on the Plant, it will be hard for them to consider anything else, not realizing the Car World has passed or exceeded there safety features. Even if the price exceeds there wildest dreams!

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Volvo is still early/first with “safety” technology, like pedestrian detection, and now pedestrian external airbags. Compared to many other makes, they are also sufficiently boring to drive fast, to gain some safety from lack of hooning alone.

      The whole “my 1990s Volvo is ‘safer’ that your 2012 S-class by virtue of being designed and built by nice, blond, social democratic, Swedish people who care and aren’t greedy” crowd, does push the delusion meter to 11, though.

    • 0 avatar
      jimbobjoe

      “not realizing the Car World has passed or exceeded there safety features”

      I see where you’re going with that, and while it’s true that the rest of the world has done a lot of catching up and has narrowed the safety gap (in particularly regards to crumple zones) I’d argue that Volvo is still a bit ahead in terms of some of its new technology, such as auto-stop and the pedestrian safety system.

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    I have always rather liked Volvo styling (to include the 244 and 245 series), but whenever I queried a Volvo owner (all who loved their cars), I was disappointed to learn of the frequent returns to dealers. Consequently, I never purchased one. However, to return to styling, the pic at the top is most certainly an attractive machine (to me, at least.)

  • avatar
    dejal1

    I wonder if this will make their Chinese owners think about moving some/all production to China.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Volvo’s niche… to quote The J. Geils Band…must’ve got lost, somewhere down the line.

  • avatar
    rnc

    I think Geely’s long-term plan is to make Volvo a chinese brand. Without Ford’s massive capital outlays (platforms, components, purchasing power, etc) there is no way they can continue to compete in the US and quite possible the EU in the long run (a lesson I think that Mazda, despite thier glee in getting ownership back, is going to learn, yes I know they are owned by a kabul (or whatever its called in Japan), but one, as opposed to mitsu, that isn’t willing to allow it to become a bottomless pit). JLR will be ok a) LR generates enough to support the group and b) the relationship b/t England and India (Colonial bonds, language, trade agreements) is quite different than b/t Sweden and China (i.e. driving a car made in England, owned by an Indian company would be looked at quite differently than the Volvo/Geely situations.)

  • avatar
    blowfish

    Atleast Volvo is not quite the Swedish patient yet, unlike Saab which had been a basket case for a while.

    Slowly they’ll move lock stock & barrel to Middle Kingdom.

  • avatar
    2012JKU

    Volvo has one foot in the grave.They will be shutting down soon for good.

  • avatar
    detlump

    The only hope for Volvo is to go to China. The brand still has name recognition, which Chinese companies crave. It simply costs too much to make cars in Europe.

    As a Volvo owner (pre-Ford), it saddens me to see Volvo in its current state. Depreciation is steep, fuel economy is poor, and clearly product development has stalled (see XC90).

    Yes, the clock is ticking for Volvo.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      The XC90 is unbelievably old for the times. It first came out as a 2003 model. That’s not all that weird by 70s/80s Mercedes standards, but is pretty old by what we see now. It looks like the 2nd gen will be at least a 2015 model, starting production in late 2014.

      I definitely feel like Volvo banks on its old reputation as a “safe car.” The Fifth Gear guys had fun with that. However, I will note that Volvo aced the new “hit a pole or tree” test (whether that’s meaningful or not), and many other luxury carmakers failed.

      • 0 avatar
        Robert.Walter

        It’s meaningful if you are sitting on the other side of the door.

        In addition, good performance in this test, roll over and frontal impact at best become proxies for overall safety of a car, and at worst don’t open any questions in the mind of a consumer.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    No correlation between the plant shutdown and the Swedish national holiday? Not having to pay for childcare for a week is a big deal to a lot of people. You’ll probably see people taking off work, where you work between Christmas and New years.


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