In a roundtable discussion with journalists in Detroit, Volvo executives detailed their strategy for reviving the brand’s fortunes in the United States. The Swedish automaker owned by China’s Geely is on track to sell 60,000 units this year, down from a high of 139,000 in 2004. The strategy includes more leasing and a new, global ad agency, but this is still an industry where product is king and Volvo will also be introducing new powertrains and new vehicles. The company is investing $11 billion over the next five years on new products and factories. The initial effort will be the launch of a redesigned XC90 crossover late next year.
CEO Hakan Samuelsson wants to position Volvo as a “unique premium brand” that competes with BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz, a Swedish alternative to the German brands. (Read More…)
Starting in January of 2014, consumers will be able to buy a real wagon again from Volvo. The brand will re-introduce the V60 “sports wagon”, with a lineup of 4, 5 and 6-cylinder turbocharged engines, with the 4-cylinder motors eventually filtering down to the rest of the lineup.
What you’re looking at here is
- A big “F U” to CAFE regulations
- Very likely the next vehicle my parents buy
After suffering from a temporary bout of insanity, Volvo is reviving the station wagon. Starting in 2014, the V60 will be sold to American consumers, though specifications have not been announced. Expect the 3.0L turbocharged inline six and the boosted 2.5L 5-cylinder engine to appear.
There was ample hand-wringing when Volvo announced the death of their iconic station wagon in North America. While enthusiasts mourned the death of a cult classic, Volvo also announced a plug-in hybrid version of their V60 wagon, powered by a diesel engine and a hybrid drivetrain. Naturally, this vehicle was not destined for sale in North America.
The non-available V60 plug-in constituted the ultimate slap in the face for the Volvo faithful. Here was the newest generation of Volvo wagon (as opposed to the warmed over XC70 offered recently) with an environmental bent and the Euro-cachet of a diesel engine – but where was it? As Jamie Kitman of Automobile magazine rightfully pointed out, their core buyer is “green” but refusing to import such a vehicle may not be “lunacy”, because the Swedes have something more suited for American tastes – the same hybrid goodness, packaged as a gasoline-powered crossover.