Volvo’s target is the lower end of the Lexus, BMW, Audi and Mercedes lines… Most experts consider the cars made by these companies engineering marvels. And Volvo, a Swedish marque with Chinese ownership, is another manufacturer that does not have the model line, marketing budget or dealer network to hope to compete.
Doesn’t sound like a vote of confidence, does it?
It’s rare for the Wall Street Journal to argue that a company should just give up. Not a very capitalist mindset, really. In a rather Death-Watch-esque article posted this past Friday, however, the voice of the one percent called for some timely market seppuku from underperforming competitors in the North American auto market.
In addition to the no-confidence vote given to Volvo above, the Journal called out Mitsusbishi and Suzuki (“It is a wonder that their parent corporations continue to grapple for market share they can never win. If they had a chance to do well, it was when there was a tidal wave of Japanese imports three decades ago. Now it is much too late”) as players who should cash in their remaining chips before they are forced to quit. Although the paper readily acknowledges the fact that sales are improving for some manufacturers here, “…that growth does not lift all ships.”
Here at TTAC, we’d be sad to see the lively Kizashi, the still-desirable Lancer Evolution, or the surprisingly usable Grand Vitara disappear from dealerships just to satisfy someone else’s notion of fiscal responsibility. As for Volvo… well, as the photo above hints, we will be following Alex Dykes’ review of the 2013 S60 with a final, Corvette-chasing goodbye to the “naughty” 2012 S60 T5 later on this week.