By on June 18, 2014

volvo-s60l-guangzhou-c

Honda may have been the first OEM to bring Chinese-made cars to North America, but their Made-In-China Fit never arrived in the United States. Now, it looks like Volvo will be the first brand to import Chinese-made cars to America.

Reuters is reporting that Volvo will import the S60L (for long wheelbase) sedan to the United States, with volumes of around 10,000 units per year. The S60L is identical to the S60, save for a 3.1 inch longer wheelbase, for enhanced rear seat comfort. Volvo did not confirm which models will actually come to the United States, but a Volvo spokesman confirmed to Reuters that exports from China are indeed planned for Volvo.

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100 Comments on “Volvo Will Export Chinese-Made Cars To America...”


  • avatar

    No thanks Volvo…

    Not just because it says “Volvo” on it, or because I don’t like your styling: inside or out…

    … but because I don’t buy anything made in China larger than swimming pool parts.

    • 0 avatar
      tuffjuff

      Ignoring exterior styling which is obviously objective, Volvo actually has *really* nice interiors.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        One of the guys I work with has an XC90. It looks like a very nice vehicle inside. The MPGs appear to be atrocious, though.

        Volvo appears to have two distinct advantages over BMW:
        1) Volvo made the top-10 brands for reliability recently.
        2) Volvos come from the factory equipped with turn signals.

        If they can keep improving their reliability while manufacturing in China, fix the lousy MPGs (or go electric), and ditch that silly telephone number pad on the dashboard, a Volvo might actually be competitive, and actually be worth considering for long-term ownership.

  • avatar
    threeer

    NIMDW…sadly, the majority of Americans looking to buy it won’t give a fig that it is produced in China. We continue to gleefully fund the rise of a power that is neither friend nor ally to us. And so it goes. And I used to actually kind of like Volvo…

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I agree, unfortunately. If Americans cared where their cars were built Japan Inc would have never risen to the level it has, nor Hyundai, nor would their have been successful Mexican built domestic models.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        We did care, it’s just that the cars built here became so terrible we gave up on the Big Three. Germans are still very into German cars in large part because their cars never became as terrible as ours.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Interesting that you left the Germans out.

        Anyhow, as that may be – those countries are all democratic allies and the PRC is not.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          The Germans had been selling here since after the war, there was nothing new about their presence, nor was there presence enough to help take down the domestic auto industry.

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            So were the Japanese basically (entering the US market shortly after WWII) and the Germans were instrumental in the near collapse of the domestic luxury auto segment (with help from the Japanese, but lately mostly the Germans) which is where much of the profits lay.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Much like the bankruptcy, the domestic automaker’s decline had many factors. Undeniably, the arrival of serious competition from the East was one of them.

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            Well, the VW bug caused a few meetings in Detroit, but it was the success of the Rambler, and to a lesser extent the Studebaker Lark, that got the Big Three into compact car production.

            The Japanese were noted for cheap toys in the early postwar years, then transistor radios. It wasn’t until the mid-sixties that the Japanese car imports arrived in significant numbers, and it was their tiny trucks that led the way.

      • 0 avatar
        Fred

        Or Canada, or Korea, or ….

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      “We continue to gleefully fund the rise of a power that is neither friend nor ally to us.”

      This is how I feel about people that buy UAW products.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Whatever the issues the UAW has, still rather see more $$ going into the pockets of the engineers, assmeblers, etc. than see the top execs get immensely wealthy.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    UAW, to your battle stations!

    I wonder if the average American Volvo buyer will care. I imagine they’d be a bit more discerning on average than sub-compact buyers who shop on price and wouldn’t care if orphan amputee children screwed their car together as long as it was cheap.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      The opportunity to fund a threat to US security will sit fine with the Jamie Kitmans of the world.

    • 0 avatar
      J.Emerson

      It will be hard for them to avoid noticing, at least. This is going to get a lot of publicity, and not just in the automotive press.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Yes, they will care. The whole Volvo image was of “the well-built Swede”, with all the safety features. Now everybody has the safety features, and if it’s built in China, it isn’t a “Swede”, well-built or otherwise. The new Chinese owners are trying to position Volvo as a luxury car, and “made in China” is too ubiquitous in Walmart to be associated with a luxury image.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Do they even sell 10,000 regular length S60′s per year? Now they want to add 10,000 LWBs?

    Though they’ll also be the first bringing a mid-size sedan with an LWB option. Chinese people here will buy it – hopefully that’s the extent of their sales though.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      They sold just over 20,000 S60s last year. Not sure how they are going to sell an additional 10,000 LWB models though.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I think at the end of the year there shall be many unsold ones of both styles available.

        I can’t believe they sold so many, actually. Given the cost of the thing and the age of the design. Yeah they slapped a new front on it, but everything else is pretty vintage.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I guess its a nice Mondeo…

          • 0 avatar
            MAGICGTI

            You’re on a car blog and you didn’t hear about Ford selling Volvo YEARS ago? It didn’t click that this doesn’t have any Ford in it, because they’re owned by Geely, a Chinese company?

            Wow.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            A Chinese company still using Ford platforms and technology four years in.

          • 0 avatar

            What’s the problem with that 28? It’s what you get when you buy a car company and is what Ford was peddling when they sold it. Here, when Ford bought Willys Overland, they did it to get Jeep and also the Willys built Renaults. They then launced a car, the Corcel, which was basically a Renault R12 for almost 3 decades, underpinning all their car line in Brazil until they launched the Escort. Yes, most people outside of nthusiasts don’t know the story and I don’t think they car. Neither did Ford that had a product they handsomely cashed in for decades.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @marcelo

            I know I’m not [that] crazy, but there was a comment here which is now missing pointing out Geely purchased Ford several years ago. My thought was yes this is true but four years in Geely is still using a Ford platform, so not much has changed.

          • 0 avatar

            Hey 28! Thanks for the clarification. I thought your comment was a little weird. Guess I missed the comment that provoked yours. Sorry!

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            MAGICGTI-

            Please tell me which car Volvo sells in the US that is based on a non-Ford platform?

          • 0 avatar
            MAGICGTI

            To clarify my post about not being a Ford, I’ll concede that its on the EUCD platform but it’s just as much an LR2 as a Mondeo, which is to say this whole “platform” sharing bit does result in unique cars. I wouldn’t say that after driving an S60 you’d think of a Mondeo. There were many changes Volvo made to the steering, subframe, and suspension which gives the car a unique identity.

            It’s not like Volvo wanted the Ford platform but just wait for the new XC90, then S90/V90.

            As to my employment, I no longer work for a Volvo retailer nor in the automotive industry but am very much a fan of Volvo, owning several from an 850 to a P3 S60.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            S90/V90? I’d love to see these come back but they went out in 1998.

            I have P3 S60 in the back of my mind for a next purchase. I’d really prefer a stick but I think my choices there are extremely limited, maybe only to the S60R. Ideally a base model I5 with cloth and 5spd but I’m not sure those exist in the US.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I’m aware of the differences. I said Mondeo because they are both sedans of roughly the same size that are on based on the same platform. Most people in the US haven’t driven a EUCD Mondeo. I have, and I think the S60 is a very nice Mondeo. More refined, better interior, nice Volvo touches, etc.

            There is nothing wrong with the Ford/Volvo platforms. Volvo had a lot to do with them being developed. I really like the Ford/Volvo D/P2 platform.

            28- Volvo is launching a range of 90-series vehicles. While they may technically have the first non-Ford platfoms since the bricks died, I would be shocked if the new platforms don’t have significant similarities with the EUCD and CD4. For example, as much as buff books talk about the Fusion and 6 no longer being on the same platform, they are as similar as they were at the end of the last generation.

        • 0 avatar
          MAGICGTI

          CoreyDL, from your past posts you’ve demonstrated you know very little about Volvo other than your misinformed opinions but the S60 debuted in 2011. A four-model year old vehicle that has just been refreshed and new head-of-class engines for FWD models is hardly “vintage”.

          And what is it about the S60 you drove that you didn’t like? I think we’ve been down this road before and the answer was you’ve never driven a modern Volvo, let alone interacted with one.

          The only “vintage” Volvo left is the XC90 which, if you haven’t been paying attention, will be new for 2016.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            MY11 S60 is on the Ford EUCD platform which debuted in 2007. Old. but not quite vintage. Vintage is 900/700/200/800 series by Volvo AB.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_EUCD_platform

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Cool it out a little. Substitute the word “old” for “vintage.” Head-of-class engines is pretty subjective.

            Where do you work at Volvo?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Oh our friend is an employee? I wish the folks at Volvo well but I’m pretty sure the brand is going to be screwed.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            China will kill them off, indeed. Give it 10-15 years, and the US (at least) will be without Volvo and Mitsubishi. And probably Smart. And maybe Acura.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Five. Oh and there’s some wishful thinking there on Smart and Acura. The more awful the product and the brand, the better chances of it sticking around, IMO.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I retract Acura actually, because the MDX is worth having, even if it is a bit ghastly it’s better than much of the competition. The RDX is probably okay, though too small for my tastes.

            Smart has just got nothin goin on!

            Oh I forgot Scion! No point in existence.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Scion is Japanese for Merkur.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Oh I dunno, I’d drive a Merkur! The Scorpio was a cool, giant thing*!

            *I also fancy the Rover SD-1 and the Sterling 827LSi, and the original 5-door Legend.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            There is a man in east PA who seems to have dedicated his life to them. He sells parts and refurbishes them for resale:

            http://sterlingfixer.com/

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            That’s very cool he’s so dedicated to an orphan brand. Prices a bit steep for the two he’s selling though! Such starched sino-Britishness!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I thought he was steep too, but east PA pricing is kinda weird. Much more money floating around than western PA, here we’d just chant “go stillers” and hobble away like Doctor Zoidberg at such a price.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          RE: “Vintage”

          The styling is timeless, though, so an automotive muggle may not care that the current Volvos haven’t been updates in a while.

          Also, if you are planning to own a car for he long term, being up yo date matters less – because it’s going to be obsolete for most of the ownership period.

          The same thing happens with Jeeps. Have you ever seen a jeep that looks like it’s been made obsolete by a newer model? No, because the Jeep design is fairly timeless. Volvo seems to have hit a similar level of tinelessness, but with a more modern looking design.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    The prediction from a former EIC here about GM being the first company to import Chinese built cars to the US has yet to come true.

    Not that it matters much. A lot of what we buy here, good, bad or indifferent, is made in China. And has been for the last 20+ years.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    Informed buyers will look at the “Final Point of Assembly” sticker and weight their decision among other factors.

    But the vast majority of buyers will only look at the infotainment and the monthly payment, and base their decision that way.

    • 0 avatar
      MAGICGTI

      If you think Volvo shoppers, who have the highest credit scores and highest education attainment, are shopping solely on infotainment (which lags the best of class) and monthly payment, you’re flat wrong. Having worked in the trenches, BMW and even Audi leased better than Volvo and many STILL bought the Volvo because there are other factors in buying a car.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I would argue the reasoning for this is Volvos in theory can be kept after the warranty period and typically use high quality materials. I’ll be curious to see what the Chinese assembled models look like in terms of build quality. I suspect the quality of materials will take a nose dive and the brand will turn into lease only junk very quickly, but we’ll see.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          Even though Volvo’s cars don’t sale in tremendous volumes like other those of other premium automakers, I doubt Geely’s going to ruin what they have…a venerable, first-world brand. If anything, they’re more likely to apply Volvo’s level of quality to their other brands. Besides, it seems to me that the Chinese tend to fail more on engineering (mainly in taking shortcuts) than build quality these days.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Geely purchased Volvo in order to gain entry to Western markets. Whether they plan to continue Swedish design and engineering or just slap a Volvo badge onto whatever comes out of Hangzhou remains to be seen.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    A question for the more conservative folks in the B&B: Why do you care?

    Politics? Volvo sells so few cars in the US that building a plant here makes no sense, so do you really care that a car comes from China vs. Sweden? If anything, China is more capitalist than Sweden, no?

    Quality? If quality is your concern, doesn’t it make sense to buy a car built in the #1 car market in the world, which is attracting so much the talent and investment in the industry?

    Why is Chinese assembly a bad thing? Did it prevent you from buying an iPad?

    OK, I admit, that was more than one question.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Eight questions.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      Because in my experience of more than a decade dealing with Chinese manufacturers across several industries, they cannot be trusted to provide a quality product long term. As soon as you become complacent, they’ll rob you blind with pisspoor materials, QC, tolerances, etc. Apple, etc, rides their contract manufacturers incredibly hard to maintain quality on a $500 iPad; who will be doing that at Volvo, given the Chinese owners are the inmates minding the asylum, and we’re talking $40k+ cars.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        S2K,
        Good point. But I think there is a difference between a supplier – who is totally cost focused, vs. a branded manufacturer. Geely knows that the $1B they paid for the Volvo brand is toast of they screw up quality, so hopefully they are wise enough to make that a priority.

        My point is that we heard the same thing about VW — that the quality would decrease from making cars in Mexico, but then people started to see that Mexican VWs were at least as high quality as German. Similarly, BMW and Benz have managed the shift of production to the southern US.

      • 0 avatar
        Jacob

        Then don’t become complacent.

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        My experience working with the contract manufacturer Foxconn was reasonably positive. Foxconn, the huge Taiwanese contract manufacturer with factories in China, built just about everything my former employer Cisco sold. They also build Apple products. Had trouble with the difference in time zones and language barriers with the factory engineers, but the QC procedures and quality of work was as good as the US CMs I’ve worked with.

        Lenovo has done a good job with their purchase of IBM’s personal computer division. I’ve had two of their ThinkPad laptops and would recommend them to a friend.

      • 0 avatar
        RHD

        And the inmates will be doing the assembling.
        Seriously, though, Chinese products compete through price undercutting, not by quality of materials, craftmanship, design or durability… which are some of the qualities that made a Volvo a desireable car.
        The disposable qualities of a toaster/microwave oven/wall AC unit/computer/minibike that comes out of a Chinese factory are antithetical to the durability of classic Volvos. But all capitalism looks for is a quick profit, by whatever means necessary.

    • 0 avatar
      Richard Chen

      “Designed by Volvo in Sweden. Assembled in China.”

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “So do you really care that a car comes from China vs. Sweden”

      Yes. I don’t even want a DAF built Volvo.

      • 0 avatar
        salhany

        My last Volvo was built in Belgium and was high quality in every way. My current Volvo was built in Sweden, and is also high quality. I don’t care where the car is assemble as long as the quality remains high. If Volvo can build cars in China and achieve the same quality I won’t mind at all.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Quality materials is one of the few unique things the brand has left to offer. If they lose that in Chinese assembly they are most definitely toast.

          • 0 avatar
            salhany

            Agreed, and obviously that’s a risk they’re taking with this move. It will be on Volvo to ensure that the quality of their cars isn’t adversely affected by assembling them in China. With proper parent company oversight, there’s no inherent reason why the cars shouldn’t be the same quality. But if Volvo doesn’t ensure that there’s no quality difference in their Chinese-built cars from their Swedish- and Belgium-built cars, their reputation will be shot.

          • 0 avatar
            Silence

            At very worst, I’d think, is that their wares would sink to GM quality, and their owners would have to suffer through almost daily VBFO Recalls.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @salhany

            I agree but it also depends how much leeway Volvo folks will have inside of China. Geely is ultimately the parent company, not Volvo Cars. I’ll quote myself from an above post: Whether they plan to continue Swedish design and engineering or just slap a Volvo badge onto whatever comes out of Hangzhou remains to be seen.

            Even if Geely actually tries with the first model year or two, this isn’t to say five years down the line they say screw it and sell Geely rebadges. The two billion dollars Geely paid for the brand is more than you and I may ever see, but in the grand scheme of the Fed’s printing press this isn’t a huge amount of money to spend for a brand name. The LA Lakers are being sold for this amount for heaven’s sake. I fear for Volvo.

            @Silence

            I sense a certain amount of sarcasm, but in this case then they cease to have a reason to be. If you want GM quality, GM has fake luxury brands which will sell to you for the same if not less money. Depending on who you are and where you grew up, Cadillac is more prestigious than Volvo anyway, why not go for it.

        • 0 avatar
          Stovebolt

          @salheny
          1) “It will be on Volvo to ensure that the quality of their cars isn’t adversely affected by assembling them in China.”
          Comment: No, it will be up to Volvo to do what their owner tells them to do.

          “With proper parent company oversight, there’s no inherent reason why the cars shouldn’t be the same quality.”
          Comment: I.e., same quality as the parent company–Geely!

          “But if Volvo doesn’t ensure that there’s no quality difference in their Chinese-built cars from their Swedish- and Belgium-built cars, their reputation will be shot.”

          Comment: Agree. And Volvo will do this by informing its owner that the owner’s build quality is substandard?

          I too want Volvo to succeed. Unfortunately, thirty years of experience with disintegrating interiors. questionable design, and disappointing mechanicals do not indicate a positive trend. The outcome is obvious, no matter how much we might prefer to deny it. Volvo’s owners have a plan; they might as well execute it.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Stovebolt,
            Keep in mind, Geely bought Volvo with the plan to restore and improve the brand.

            Compromising Vovlo’s quality would only ruin Geely’s investment. I would not bet against Geely – just look at how Jaguar Land Rover has been rejuvenated.

    • 0 avatar
      Victor

      VoGo, down here we get Cherry, Jac and a few others. Jacs are terrible little things that love to break down. Yes, chinese products are everywhere I look at home, from the Philips phone to the Electrolux exhaust (or whatever you call that thing that goes over the stove).

      But I will never relly on a chinese car to haul my family around. I don’t mind buying a new smartphone once in about a year or so. But a car is a whole different deal. Everything that is produced there, it is done so to make it cheaper. Not safer, better built, or better finished. Cheaper. So, no thanks. Also, China is #1 market because there’s over a billion people there that spent the last 50 years living like the Amish. And not because their cars are top notch.

  • avatar
    L'avventura

    This is perhaps the best way for China to export Chinese-made cars around the world. Buy an established name brand like Volvo, and use their brand and dealer network to sell Chinese-made cars.

    It would be near impossible for a Chinese-brand car to successfully sell cars in the US. It takes decades to build a new brand, and it takes an equally long time to build a dealer network.

    Toyota came to American in the 50s, Hyundai in the 80s, it took both companies 20-30 years to find established success, for a Chinese brand it would be an uphill battle.

    Using Volvo, or any other established foreign brand which they are able to buy into (such as Peugeot/Citroën), is an incredible short cut.

    I think this will become the status-quo tactic for Chinese automakers to expand overseas.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    I just want to hear a Zhongguoren say “Volvo”.

  • avatar
    salhany

    I’m a bit surprised they’re not bringing over the S80L that they sell in China. That’s a fullsize car in a way the current S80 isn’t.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Volvo is hovering around 5000 units/month, which seems to be the minimum for viability of an independent mfr in the US market (with some exceptions).

    The introduction of this Chinese-built car may not matter much in the long run.

    • 0 avatar
      J.Emerson

      The biggest problem they have is that quality and safety aren’t enough to build an entire brand around anymore. Lots of people offer that, and more, at considerably lower prices. They need to morph into an Audi competitor to survive at their current price range, or they need to go downmarket in the manner of VW. Personally, I think it’s too late either way.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Outside of the fevered minds of internet forum trolls, the S60 is a very nice vehicle to drive. It doesn’t have quite the handling chops of a 3er but it makes up for it with a very comfortable and controlled ride and some of the best seats in the industry. Both the five- and six-cylinder variants of the old engine family are fantastic (I haven’t driven any of the new fours).

    And rear seat space is its largest weakness. I think an S60L is a very logical product, maybe more sensible than the regular S60.

    It’s too bad they are building it in China because 1) no one in the U.S. will buy a Chinese-built car and 2) now everyone will think all Volvos are built in China, because no one reads anything carefully. The publicity from this could easily be the end of the Volvo brand in the U.S.

    • 0 avatar

      Some truth in what you say here, but at least in Brazil, Volvo’s latest adds all sell on their Sweden-ness. The last one is kind of cool, though a little fake, showing their biggest soccer player driving one of their SUVs doing manly Swedish things, like climbing snowy mountains, hunting in the snow, cutting and jumping into a frozen lake. And his voice (I think) in a thick accent, in English, saying how he wants to live and die in Sweden. thing is he at least works in Paris and has played for Italian and Spanish clubs. Though I think the Chinese connection has not damaged Volvo in any serious way (for now), the add is a little disingenuous and fake and could be construed negatively by naysayers.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Zlatan is a spokesperson for Volvo? He may have been born in Sweden, but he is Zastava as much as Volvo.

      • 0 avatar
        CRConrad

        What pisses me off a little is that they mangled the lyrics: The Swedish national anthem, which is what he is “singing” / reciting / mumbling / rapping?, doesn’t actually mention Sweden by name; it goes “jag vill leva, jag vill dö i Norden” (“I want to live and die in the Nordics”; cf https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Du_gamla,_Du_fria#Lyrics , esp. the paragraphs right before the “Lyrics” section heading).

        This is because it was written “in the spirit of Scandinavism”, back when Sweden was in a personal union with Norway ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_between_Sweden_and_Norway ). As a consequence, it is said that the only national anthem in the world to mention Sweden by name is the Polish one ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poland_Is_Not_Yet_Lost#Lyrics , https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deluge_(history) ).

        “Norden” has been good enough for over a century, so changing that to “Sverige” now is just cheap pandering to ignorant furriners — and totally unnecessarily so, since they don’t get it anyway. And all the more infuriating as Zlatan murmurs it in his Scanian ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scanian_dialect ), which makes it sound as if it were a Dane — the other archenemy, preceding Russia — saying it, rather than what most Swedes would recognise as Swedish.

        Sigh.

  • avatar
    Thatkat09

    NOOOOOOO!!!!!

    Okay, its not really that bad. I just have a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach about this move. I love Volvo and want them to succeed. The last thing they need is bad publicity. A $40,000 luxury car built in China is a hard sell, especially when the product isn’t class leading. Its just going to be another mark against Volvo in their quest to compete with the Germans.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I too want Volvo to succeed but I’ve come to the conclusion they cannot compete with the Germans. Best to become something akin to “European Buick”.

  • avatar
    ktm_525

    As a former V70r owner I have always been puzzled why Volvo products targeted at soccer moms always have tight rear seat room? Are/were Swedish kids midgets? Are Swedes not tall?

  • avatar
    J.Emerson

    If you don’t have a NAFTA factory, you can’t be anything more than a small niche player here. They will go the way of Mitsubishi in ten years or so if that doesn’t change. Mazda is cheating the system for now, but their long term prospects aren’t any better.

    I predict that the backlash will be fairly sizable, especially from Volvo’s traditional customer base.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Truth. With the cost of Chinese assembly now equal to or greater than that of Mexico, this doesn’t give them any real advantage. Volvo once had a North American assembly plant for cars in Halifax, but that died long ago and I don’t see them building a NAFTA plant to service their volume here, even if they doubled it. Perhaps they could find space at one of the truck division NA sites to crank out some of their popular models, but even that seems unlikely.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Mitsubishi actually has an assembly plant in Illinois, making the Outlander. Everything else is imported from Japan.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    I’ve never seen what was appealing about Volvo’s cars. I know there are fans of the old bricks, but to me they were just ugly and slow, and for the most part were driven by people who didn’t want to drive, but still needed to get somewhere. The newer ones seem like ersatz BMWs. Since I don’t care for China’s gov’t or economic policies, it’s just another reason to not consider Volvo.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    I rented an S60 a few months ago and drove from Denver to Vail.

    VERY nice design inside and out and the car drove well, but it was not sporty compared to its competitors. It actually drove a bit like a shrunken down Hyundai Genesis sedan, in that it felt very stable and quiet at speed on the highway. Problem is, the back seat is very short on legroom. I’m 6 feet tall and when the front seat was positioned well for me, there wasn’t enough room to put a kid back there. There was definitely not room for a rear facing infant car seat.

    When I returned home, I was reminded how much better packaged for rear legroom space my 3er is.

    A stretched S60 is a very good idea, although I would be afraid that it might screw up the exterior look.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      The photo at the top IS the stretched one! Lol.

      Still doesn’t look like much room back there though.

      http://ts3.mm.bing.net/th?id=HN.608006492712733651&pid=1.7

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I have yet to drive or be in an EUCD S60, but they few I have parked near or approached are similar in dimensions to the clown car sized S40. If “LWB” is only going to add 3 inches to the length I fail to see how it matters other than to say “we realized what we currently are selling is entirely to small”. Why is this even a sedan its entirely too small? Just make it a hardtop coupe and be done with it, but sedan buyers into an S80. Both models are the same fricking thing, pretending one is “oh la la” and one isn’t is futile.

  • avatar
    DrGastro997

    Volvo is making another big mistake. I highly doubt China is in a condition to manufacture cars with a level of quality. Trust is a major issue too. Someone is going to build a plant next to the Volvo plant and build something very similar using actual Volvo parts. It’s happened to IBM, Nissan, etc and the Chinese will keep doing it as long as we give them the opportunities.

    • 0 avatar
      Jacob

      BMW, Audi, and Mercedes already build cars in China, as well as the Japanese. Building a counterfeit car should be ridiculously hard, much harder than a counterfeit phone or a router. It will never happen, and besides, can be caught quickly. Assembling a car is a lot harder than assembling a tablet. Building a whole new factory to make counterweight goods is ridiculously expensive and risky because it can be revealed very quickly. The counterfeit electronics were normally built at the same contractor plant as the one contracted by the western company.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Dr.,
      A few points to keep in mind:
      1. China is the #1 car market in the world. They manufacture many of the electronics we all rely on everyday, so the ideas that they are unable to manufacture with quality does not compute
      2. The majority of the global carmakers already produce vehicles in China, many of which are world class
      3. Volvo is already Chinese owned, so your comment about us “giving them opportunities” to copy designs appears off base.

      • 0 avatar
        infinitime

        So true. From VW’s own assessment, the Passat, Audi A6 models built in their Chinese plants are statistically indistinguishable from the ones built in the German plant… Same goes for the various Toyotas, Nissans and Hondas built in the two dozen or so plants throughout China.

        I find the xenophobia of many posters comical, particularly given that 95% of them are typing on a laptop/phone/tablet manufactured in China, and use predominately Chinese made electronics in their daily lives.

        Globalized manufacturing, particularly heavily mechanized robotic manufacturing, has made the country of origin generally of little significance, when it comes to quality. A robot welding unibodies in China is indistiguishable from the same robot situated in German or Sweden.

        As to design, Volvo probably relies on the same Swedish engineers and designers as it has always done. Chances are, the same QC processes are followed at the plant.

        One thing to avoid buying Chinese for political reasons, but to suggest that it is not the same product simply because it is manufactured in another country, ignores the realities of global manufacturing.

  • avatar
    George B

    I like the Volvo S60, but not enough to buy one new. The problem is the price is too high, the size is too small, and the shape looks like a much less expensive Honda Civic. Fixing the size/shape by making the middle 3 inches longer and building it in China sounds like a winner to me. Really like the new efficient motors mated to the Aisin 8 speed automatic transmission. Hope more manufacturers use those excellent automatic transmissions from the Toyota/Lexus parts bin.

  • avatar
    stickmaster

    “Made in China” is part of general corporate cost-cutting which is apparent everywhere. China is simply the best low cost manufacturer. Nowhere else in the world do you so find so many people that can work long hours and reasonably assemble things at low cost.

    The game ends, though, when the labor pool dries up and when they want their piece of the pie, which eventually happens everywhere.

    I still maintain that the Germans and Japanese at the top of their game are the best builders of things. Show me something where the parts and labor are all finished by them, and it will generally be to a high standard.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      The things America still sees fit to produce domestically tend to be of very high quality as well. Not always the cars, which tend to target a cheaper price range than the Germans especially, but things like military weapons, airplanes, high-end electronics, clothes, high-end tools, etc, are all generally very well made.


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