By on August 14, 2014

2015 Volvo XC90Unless the beautiful details that have been gradually released over the last few months add up to less than the sum of our parts, it appears as though the second-generation Volvo XC90 will be an impressive machine on which to lay eyes.

As mentioned on TTAC earlier today, the new XC90 will be unveiled on August 25. Its screen orientation will be flipped in Tesla-like portrait fashion. It will be fast. The XC90’s shifter is made by Orrefors Crystal. It will possess a host of one-step-farther safety features. It will, for at least a moment or a day or a week, be a headline-grabbing car.

And surely there will be more American SUV buyers opting for the new XC90 than there have been American SUV buyers opting for the old XC90 over the last few years.

Aside from a slight 5% (490 units) year-over-year U.S. sales gain in 2011, XC90 volume hasn’t done anything but decline since the nameplate’s peak in its second full calendar year, 2004.

Quite a year it was, too. The XC90 outsold most premium brand SUVs and crossovers that year. Volvo reported 39,230 XC90 sales in 2004, a year in which BMW sold fewer than 36,000 X5s and Mercedes-Benz ML volume didn’t climb above 26,000 units. The XC90 outsold the whole Land Rover division that year. Porsche sold more than 18,000 Cayennes in 2004. Cadillac reported slightly more than 30,000 copies of the SRX; Infiniti sold a similar number of FX35s and FX45s.

Out in front of the XC90 were full-size American luxury brutes from Cadillac (36,994 Escalades and 15,618 Escalade ESVs) and Lincoln (36,398 Navigators) and the same power players that exist today: Lexus sold 106,531 RXs in 2004; Acura sold 59,505 MDXs.

We’re all aware of the XC90’s decade-long story of inactivity. As always, style is subjective, but the XC90 remained handsome over time. Yet it did not change during a period in which Acura introduced a new MDX, and then another new MDX; a period in which Infiniti introduced a new FX and a popular Pathfinder-based JX/QX60. We’ve seen two new Mercedes-Benz M-Class generations since 2004.

Luxury SUV sales chartThe XC90 mostly went along without updates, and year after year after year, sales declined. From that 39,230-unit peak in 2004, XC90 sales fell below 19,000 units in 2008, below 10,000 units in 2012. After averaging 35,000 annual U.S. sales between 2003 and 2007 – a normal product lifecycle after which other automakers would have debuted a new version – XC90 volume averaged 11,000 annual units between 2008 and 2013.

Naturally, this has had a huge impact on the brand’s fortunes in the United States, particularly since the brand has killed off numerous products and failed to market others on this side of the Atlantic. The XC90 represented 28% of the 139,384 Volvos sold in America in 2004, 18% of the 61,433 company’s 2009 sales, 11% of Volvo’s 2013 volume, and just 9% of the 34,224 vehicles Volvo has sold through the first seven months of 2014.

The Volvo V60 wasn’t going to rescue Volvo in North America. Indeed, that fresh new wagon only sells about as often as the grey-haired SUV. Bringing back the quirky C30 wouldn’t heal the brand. Ripping up the C70’s execution order won’t do the trick. Importing the V40, though useful, would not turn Volvo from a brand that sold 61,233 vehicles in 2013 back into a brand which sold 139,384 vehicles in 2004. If Volvo has a future in North America, it will be as a direct result of the XC90′s successful launch.

Pressure’s on.

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66 Comments on “Understatement: New Volvo XC90 Needs To Sell Well...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Huh – I just commented to this effect in the other XC90 thread, minutes ago. They might sell only 5000 XC90s in the US this year.

    Volvo is teetering on the edge of extinction in the US. I doubt this car will turn the tide.

  • avatar
    celebrity208

    Imagine how many more they would have sold in 2004 if that car carrier hadn’t sunk!

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I really liked the original XC90, just like I liked all of the XC70s (which in my opinion are vastly more interesting and desirable, especially when properly equipped).

    However, I don’t think people will flock to wherever their nearest Volvo dealership is to check out this new XC90. Name damage, falling sales, Chinese ownership, “doubts” of future existence – all of these things are big nails in the coffin labeled Volvo. They are introducing a new version into a more crowded market, with less brand desirability, and less recognition. Their model lineup is pretty thin these days.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Volvo is stuck between the mass market CUVs, that have gotten much better or debuted since 2004, and luxury brands that have brand equity.

      I’d buy a higher trim Explorer, Durango, or Highlander over the XC90 right now.

      • 0 avatar
        johnny_5.0

        Bingo, which mirrors my thinking in the other thread. My wife has had two FXs and leans more toward luxury marques in general. It would be far easier for me to get her into an Explorer Sport than any new SUV from Volvo (I like the Durango RT but she hates the rear even more than I do). I doubt I could even get her to the dealership to look at one of these.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          In many ways the Explorer Sport is superior to the XC90. I like the seats and some of the interior materials on the XC90 better than the Explorer Sport, but that is about it.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      You’re thinking like a car blog reader. The vast majority of Volvo’s upper middle class buyers have no clue about any of the issues you mentioned.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        They don’t care about those things, but it seems people would rather have a German CUV/SUV than the XC90. The chart looks like everyone went to Audi instead. Maybe Q7 sales are made up entirely of people that used to buy an XC90.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I can’t help it!

        Lol, but in all seriousness – with Volvos prices these days, why not just go German? Reliability will likely be equivalent, and you’ll for SURE get more money when you go to sell it.

        • 0 avatar
          jmo

          “Lol, but in all seriousness – with Volvos prices these days, why not just go German?”

          A BMW, Merc or Audi say flashy and braggey while a sober sensible Volvo says you’re prudent but affluent.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I’m not very sure it says affluence anymore, though.

            Yesterday on my way to work I saw a brand new S60 T6 AWD, tip top of the line for that model. It was black over dark red (that’s cool!), but it did not look expensive or affluent. It just looked like the same S60 they have been selling since 04ish.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            The EUCD S60 came out in MY10, the MY04 P3 bodystyle lasted until MY09. I’d say its possible you saw an MY08 or 09 and assumed it was new.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Nope sir, was brand new. It had their new corporate China-approved face on it with the derpy headlamps!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I don’t have figures in front of me, but the EUCD S60 is shorter than the P3 and appears to be smaller, at least from the visual standpoint. The next Volvo purchase for me will probably be a P3 S60 unless a nice 940 or really nice 740 comes through.

          • 0 avatar
            tremorcontrol

            I agree with this — Audi, BMW, and Merc can carry some serious a-hole baggage.

            Weird that people basically want Volvo to die instead of having another automotive competitor. Actually test drive one of the cars, then come back.

            Design and perceived affluence are subjective. I find some Infiniti designs are overwrought and look like a 14-year-old with ADHD designed them.

            And on the Geely ownership: There’s a dirty mix of of racism, xenophobia, and red-scare thinking baked into comments that harp on that. Geez… We’ve got enough bad stuff going on in the world without being so categorical about another entire population of people.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            “There’s a dirty mix of of racism, xenophobia, and red-scare thinking baked into comments that harp on that.”

            Nope. It’s a country known for making generally low quality merchandise, with an underpaid and overworked workforce. It also suppresses information and the people living there. These are all just facts, it’s not racist at all. And all I said was “Chinese ownership.” There was no harping.

          • 0 avatar
            redliner

            This.

            I know many people who are wealthy and they drive all sorts of flashy cars. MB AMG cars, BMW M series cars, Maserati

            I know just a few people who are independently wealthy beyond all reason. They drive Camry hybrids and Volvos and Buicks. They are beyond trying to impress others.

            This is the perfect car for the discreetly wealthy set.

          • 0 avatar
            Superdessucke

            @Corey – Well said. The insiders will call you a racist or xenophobe if you dare criticize their meal ticket. Truthfully most stuff that comes out of China is cheap, corner cut, unregulated garbage made under a huge competitive advantage of exploited workers and lopsided trade policies.

            I love Volvo of the past but would be very apprehensive about buying one now. Not because of the way it drives, the way it looks, or the way it’s engineered. But because who owns the company. I just don’t trust it.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      People who don’t read blogs have no idea that the Chinese bought Volvo, any more than they had any idea Volvo was owned by Ford. Nor do they have any idea how many cars Volvo sells, or have any doubts about Volvos continued existence. You give the general public way too much credit for having a clue.

      Sales have fallen because the product is mostly crap and too expensive for what it is and for very little other reason. The new S60 is cramped and unattractive compared to the old one, and the competition. The V60 is really a hatch, not a wagon, and is too small to appeal much to people like me who bought the Volvo wagons of old.

      The bright spot is the XC60, and it sells reasonably well, as does the Volvo Outback, I mean XC70. They have the safety schtick, but everyone does safety today. About the only people who still buy Volvos are the people who have always only bought Volvos, and the current line is not that appealing to them. Really, what reason is there to buy a Volvo over a top-range Subaru today? And save $10-20K in the process.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        This.

      • 0 avatar

        “Really, what reason is there to buy a Volvo over a top-range Subaru today? And save $10-20K in the process.”

        Which is what I ended up doing. I still want the Volvo equivalent more though.

        • 0 avatar
          340-4

          Exactly.

          What I’ve wondered for a time is this:

          Why isn’t Subaru making a model just ever so slightly nicer than what they have that’s about $5k more – to lure the Volvo crowd.

          More power, slightly different styling, a WAAY NICER INTERIOR (which wouldn’t be that hard to do as they have slipped IMHO lately in that regard).

          Shouldn’t be too hard. I wouldn’t care if it was based on the current Outback, either.

          I won’t buy a Chinese Volvo. Makes me sad, too.

  • avatar
    7402

    We’ve owned four Volvos; we have zero now, and the new XC90 will not get me into a showroom.

    I look at the successes of the new VW beetle and the MINI Cooper; what Volvo needs is a new vehicle that channels the 240 wagon and the 740 turbo wagon.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      What soured you on them?

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      “what Volvo needs is a new vehicle that channels the 240 wagon and the 740 turbo wagon.”

      In brown with a diesel and 4 on the floor and of course a switch back to RWD. The thing will outsell the F150.

      • 0 avatar
        vvk

        > In brown…

        If they price it at $8,999…

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Your sarcasm is cute but he’s right. Nobody will care about this, its just as stupid as every other offering in its class. If the goal is to sell as little vehicles as possible in the US, Volvo is on the right track. Any success will be designing a model which would sell well in the US, China, and not be adverse to Europeans. That’s not easy to do given those market’s differences.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      The things that made the 240 & 740 successful are irrelevant or widely available now. Pretty much all cars are very safe. If you want to blend into a neighborhood of tweed jacket elbow patched college professors you can buy a Subaru Outback, JSW TDI, or Toyota Prius.

      Plus, this chart only tells 1/2 the story. Doesn’t factor in the pressure from below, from the rapidly exploding small premium SUV segment. Truthfully, Volvo needs an XC50 more than it needs an XC90.

    • 0 avatar
      7402

      Just to be clear: we had wagons and sedans; turbo and NA; automatics and manuals; new and used; RWD, FWD, and AWD. We had a 240, a 740, an 850, and an S60.

      It was the S60 that soured us. The others were all relatively expensive to buy and operate, but they were very reliable, comfortable, and had great visibility. The S60 was expensive, unreliable, uncomfortable, and had horrible visibility. Of those, I can suffer expensive and unreliable, but discomfort combined with lousy sight lines are a no-go. Since the S80 debut, no Volvo model has had good visibility.

      I want to love them, I do. I nearly bit the bullet on a last-year V70R AWD, manual (used), but the hard reality of the poor visibility convinced me otherwise. To put it in perspective, the current fleet includes a MINI Cooper S and a Subaru Forester, both vehicles with anachronistically huge greenhouses and the correspondingly awesome visibility that goes with lots of glass that is close to vertical.

      • 0 avatar
        vvk

        Quite the opposite, actually. The S60 is the most reliable Volvo of all time. It is also very affordable, with many base S60 going out the door for low $20k. If you wanted cloth seats and manual transmission, you could probably get it for under $20k plus tax.

        As much as I LOVE the 240 Wagon (having driven a 1988 with manual transmission to Alaska and back,) they were exceedingly expensive to buy and to own.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    If you can take sales from the Highlander Limited, top trim Honda Pilot, Audi Q7, and MB GL you’ll have success.

    As others have mentioned, many of those buyers won’t know or care that the company is owned by the Chinese as long as the product isn’t either poorly assembled or bean-counted to death.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I’ve said this before, but even building a V60 seems pointless from the US standpoint. Its the exact same type of offering as the XC70, oh but its smaller, its hip, its [insert adjective of choice]. Not quite, its a smaller, less functional XC70. Whoop de do. The money would have been better spent on another model, something with mass market appeal.

  • avatar

    I think it might sell if Volvo starts it in the high $30K, low $40K range. As weak as the Volvo name is, people still regard the brand as selling sophisticated, European vehicles. A *modern* Volvo seven-seater could have a lot more cachet than the (Volvo-derived) Explorers and Enclaves that people drop almost $50K on with alarming regularity. This is clearly a nicer vehicle than either one of those. It may even do well against the MDX and QX60. It needs to be regarded among all the other vehicles in its class: luxury or highly-equipped seven-seat crossovers that don’t have the most exotic underpinnings, but that make up for it with excellent styling and feature content. But if Volvo decides it wants to charge X5 money for it…there are going to be issues…

    And as a side note, I can do superchargers, turbochargers and electric propulsion…but not in the same car! So I’ll probably stay far away…

    • 0 avatar

      Look at the current pricing structure of the XC60…there is no way that this will start in the high $30k.

      Besides, why would Volvo charge *below* what Acura charges? The brand has more cachet and more credit in the family car market. And if you do not want superchargers, turbochargers and electric propulsion, just buy the cheaper models.

      My guess would be that this will start in MDX territory for the more basic powertrains, and end in X5 territory for the Hybrid.

      • 0 avatar

        You’re entirely correct. I don’t know why I thought the MDX started in the low thirties. Even in the forties, the MDX is a great car for what you get. And yes, the QX60, MDX, Enclave and (to a lesser extent) MKT are the XC90′s primary competitors, and it should be priced as such.

        As another side note, I think this segment (FWD-based seven-seater SUVs) is one that Lexus needs to get in on. The RX is of course, a five-seater, the GX’s third-row seat is a joke and the entire car is a little too heavy-duty for what many people want, and the LX is *really* expensive. Lexus could take the Highlander-wheelbase version of their FWD platform and build a luxury crossover off of that. But what say you?

      • 0 avatar
        johnny_5.0

        I have an honest question about their brand equity. In what age groups do people fall who feel like the nameplate carries anywhere near the same weight as BMW/Audi/Mercedes? I know a lot of people who drive SUVs from those brands, and plenty more who have ones from ‘tier 2′ luxury brands like Acura and Infiniti (some of whom even acknowledge them as tier 2 brands). Most of them wouldn’t even rank Volvo with Acura anymore. Brand erosion has been pretty serious, at least for many people under 40 who don’t seem to have any memories of the good-old-days of Volvo. I don’t think I’ve seen any comments from people who actually want Volvo to fail, more choice is always good. But if the younger set that needs people haulers like these has less interest in the brand than Acura, I’m not sure how they are going to fare in a competitive segment where even the non-luxury entrants can be quite good.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          I started driving in the ’80s in a college town with very high import acceptance. Daily exposure to Volvos did nothing to elevate their perceived level of prestige. They often shared driveways with West German cars, and they were more comparable in interior quality to VWs and poverty Audi 4000s than they were to the real Mercedes-Benz and BMW products of the past. Unlike the French and the Italians, they had enough brand credibility to survive Japan’s move up market, but they were a pretty left field choice by the early ’90s. Odd isn’t prestigious.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            For once CJ, I agree with you completely. Nice cars, but not prestigious in the wealthy suburb I grew up in. Good SAFE family trucksters. Moms either had plywood pleasure palace full-size American wagons, or Volvos, mostly depending on how many kids they had. Dad had a Porsche, Benz, BMW, or a Volvo sedan. A few Audis, especially after the aero 5000 came out.

            The hand-me-down Volvo wagon was THE car of my High School parking lot, there were at least a few dozen of them.

            I’ve owned a dozen RWD Volvos, love them, they are the best used car value out there. But they are also utter throwbacks, and not even remotely on the same page as a decent modern car in any way.

            I do agree with EChid that I would take a current Volvo over an Acura or Lincoln, mostly because neither make any sort of wagon. I would take a Regal Turbo over anything that Volvo makes though. Shame we don’t get the 5dr version.

        • 0 avatar

          Hmm, I would disagree on some fronts. Volvo clearly doesn’t have the catchet of the German brands, but it certainly has more than Acura, Lincoln, and Buick. I would say it has more than Infiniti too, albeit with a different type of buyer.

          The young people I know certainly wouldn’t prioritize Volvo, but they also recognize it as a luxury brand.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          Volvo has always been tier 2. Not as good as the Germans, but not nearly as expensive either, to buy or to run. Now they are just as expensive, but still not as good.

          Back in the 80s, a 240 started about where a loaded mid-size Ford or GM stopped, so it was not much of a stretch. And the majority of 240s and 740s sold were pretty basic cars.

  • avatar

    All the same things people are saying in terms of “sure its nice but why would you buy one instead of the Germans” are exactly what people said about the XC60, which is selling very well by Volvo standards and has helped to prop up the brand.

    People will buy this, just as they did the last XC90, because it is almost as nice as the Germans, and sells safety in a class where people care about safety a lot and will and can pay for it.

    I’m not going to say that this is going to light the world up with sales, but I do think it will help Volvo a lot.

  • avatar
    Fred

    I maybe the only one here, but I really liked the V60 and even the S60 Yea they were over my budget, but that’s just the way it is, most of the cars I really want are expensive. Sure hope they find some success.

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    Guess what everyone: The closest thing on the market to a conventional Volvo wagon, both in design and actual platform history, is a Ford Flex.

    All you Volvo fans go out and buy Ford Flexes. Get the white roof, it will keep you cooler in the summer.

  • avatar
    Joebaldheadedgranny

    I was so taken by the Horbury designed XC90 that I paid full sticker in 2004 for a 2.5L AWD. My father in law bought it from me when we entered minivan conditions (3rd kid) and he still has it today. The points made about the damaged Volvo brand in the US are valid, but I must admit the new XC90 has gotten my attention. There is something about the Volvo sensibility that works.

  • avatar
    pb35

    I purchased a new XC90 in 2007, a V8 Sport. It stickered for over $52k at the time and I was able to get about $10k knocked off the price. It has been surprisingly reliable so far and I plan on keeping it at least another 3 years or so. My wife (yeah, she’s a professor) drives it now but she wants to get back into a sedan once the kids are out of their car seats so I’ll probably trade my current sedan in and get my Volvo back. I miss it. It’s going in for its 60k service tomorrow. Usually I get a C70 as a loaner but I think I am going to request something with a T6 this time.

    Volvo will hopefully have the bugs worked out on the new XC in another 3 years so I think it will be safe to buy another.

  • avatar
    tall1

    I find Volvo interesting. I for one gravitate to cars that are not necessarily the mainstream and are somewhat unique on the road. A few years back I looked at XC60s when shopping for CUVs and came close to buying, but then I talked with friends who own older XC70s and an XC90. I asked them when it is time to replace their vehicle would they choose another Volvo? Their answer was NO! Too many costly electrical glitches and way too many burned out light bulbs have tainted their view of their beloved Volvos. They bought for safety and now safety is the norm. It seems Land Rover can make it on looks without reliability because of the perceived glamour that comes with the brand. Volvo – not so much.

    • 0 avatar

      Too bad, the newer generation of Volvo’s has been much more reliable than what you are citing, AFAIK. The XC60/S60/XC70 have all seen significant improvements from the days of your friend’s 70 and 90.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      Burned out light bulbs tainted the image of the car? Interesting view of quality.

      I’m not sure we’d buy another XC90. We’ve had a few issues (wiring harness short, front speaker fading), but overall, it’s been a decent experience and I like how they packaged the interior.

      I didn’t expect Toyota/Lexus reliability and I haven’t gotten it, but then it’s a much better driving vehicle than anything in its price range in 2007.

      • 0 avatar
        tall1

        Yes although i guess it depends on what your threshold for pain is. My friend literally has gone and bought a box of bulbs because of the frequency these bulbs burn out. He was tired of taking it to the independent mechanics and having them replace them. From what I gather this happens every six months or so. That to me is annoying and would taint my brand experience. This occurs on his XC70 and XC90. Both models are early to mid 2000′s models. They love the seats though;)

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          If they are popping bulbs like that there is something wrong with the voltage regulation. Should have found a better mechanic.

          Saab had a similar issue with the 9-3 when they first came out – the fix was a firmware update to turn down the alternator output by a 1/2 volt or so.

      • 0 avatar
        zerofoo

        A friend had an early 2000′s S40 that was in the shop every 6 months for new headlight bulbs. He and I both though that was absurd.

        Sure, it was probably something simple, like an overcharging alternator. The dealer simply replaced the bulbs under warranty and kicked him out the door. The service writer said all the cars did that and it was normal for that model.

        That friend no longer buys Volvos….he buys Subarus now.

  • avatar
    pb35

    Like someone said upthread, I didn’t want the latest BMW, Audi or Benz. They are too showy and I thought the Volvo, in addition to having a reputation as being the safest car on the planet which was important to me as a new parent, was still a nice, understated way to drive a European car. The sport seats are ridiculously comfy. Not to mention it was several thousand dollars less than a comparable German alternative.

    I don’t think I’ll be so lucky on my next new car purchase, the wife indicates she wants an E-class next time around.

  • avatar
    Calico Jack

    It’s amazing how many people around here seem to actually want Volvo to die. Is it anti-Chinese sentiment? Do they just like picking on the little guy? Most likely, they view intelligent cars as boring and stupid and want to get back to talking about the latest uber-macho truck or “I’m NOT Compensating for a Small D*ck” sports car.

    The most recent Volvos completely turned things around from the 2000-era reliability problems, as well as being ridiculously comfortable and pleasant to drive…NERD CAR ALERT! Time for a wedgie!

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Personally I do no want them to die off, I just would like them to get their heads out of their collective arses (the same could be said for Lincoln, Cadillac, Acura etc).

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I don’t want Volvo to die, I just don’t like what they currently sell very much. And I have MONTHS of seat time in rented S60s. The seats ARE good, but dynamically the car sucks compared to a BMW, it is overpriced for what it is, I find them cramped, and with the ancient 5 cylinder it was rather thirsty. The new engines probably fixed the last issue, but I doubt they have done a thing about the soggy chassis tuning. The sportier versions just got less comfortable without really getting any better. Saab had the same issue – they just never got chassis tuning. Volvo needs to hire Lotus to sort it out for them.

      I’ll buy whatever meets my wants and needs, regardless of the badge on the back.

  • avatar
    jjf

    I bought a 2011 XC70 with T6 right after the Chinese bought Volvo. The car is comfy, performs well, and I get compliments all the time on its looks. I figured the assembly would be better since the workers were happy they got to keep their jobs .

    The quality, however, has left something to be desired. I’ve had low coolant warnings twice, and got a low oil message a few weeks ago while picking up company from the airport. Apparently this is not uncommon on 2011-2012 T6 engines, and a lot of them get replaced or get new pistons installed. Volvo just said bring it back if(when) the oil runs low again. To top it off there is a crack in the bottom of the engine block due to poor assembly that Volvo refuses to do anything about. In addition there was a recall on the power steering pump cover that they just ripped off. The power steering pump makes whirring sounds like Detroit malaise era junker. We’ve complained at least 5 times and the dealer has even replaced the pump, and reprogrammed the ecu. The car only has 35K miles.

    We had planned on keeping this car for 10 years, but are now making plans to dump it once the warranty expires. Despite all this my wife really wants another Volvo and had decided that Volvo was her brand, but she is finally reconsidering. We are the target demographic for the XC90, and Volvo cannot afford to piss away customers like us. If they can’t get quality right on an old design, what are the chances they will get it on a newer more complex one?

  • avatar
    Kmho

    Being an inquisitive and native Swede, I know the history of Volvocars and its history of owners quite well.
    During the ownership of Ford, the brand lost its focus. Volvo in Sweden was forced to adhere to what Ford told it to do, using Fords technology, platforms and engines. The development department in Sweden had to follow Fords directives and could not develop engines and cars in the way they wanted. The new owner Geely, have made the complete opposite compared to Ford. For 4 years Geely have poured in money for development of new models and into the production facilities in Sweden. They have actually let Volvo decide for themselves what they want to accomplish. This have resulted in a number of changes;
    For the first time in almost 20 years, the leadership of Volvo in Sweden are deciding the future. The new scalable platform that the new xc90 is based on, is not from Ford but developed in Sweden by Volvo. This will make sure that Volvo can update the cars much faster in the future (they are talking about 18 months for a new model). The xc90 is the first car that has no Ford components at all (and no Chinese either). The new engines they introduced this year, are also completely new under the new leadership.
    It has taken Volvo 4 years to change the impact of the previous ownership. I think the future for Volvo is better than it has been for a very long time. According to Geely, Volvo is a Swedish company that will decide its own future. I didn’t believe it at first (we all were very hesitant about Geely), but so far it seems that they only wants Volvo to succeed and remain a Swedish company at its core.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    So would it be beneficial and politically popular if the Swedish government was to assist Geeley in buying what is left of Saab?

    The same company would control both companies. Volvo could concentrate on making sensible, safe and dependable people movers and Saab could concentrate on quirky rally type cars?


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  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States