"Volvo Can Be the Luxury Brand of the Future Because… the World is Turning Swedish."

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

What was that song? I think I'm turning Japanese, I think I'm turning Japanese, I really think so. Well, apparently not. As an upscale buyer, Volvo wants me to embrace my inner Swede. Only I shouldn't get to feeling special. According to the chairman of Volvo Cars and president of Ford's European division, "We're looking to take customers from everybody." The Detroit News reports that Lewis Booth's immodest (not to say foolhardy) statement comes as part of Ford's decision to take the Swedish brand waaaaaay upmarket, to battle with the likes of Lexus, BMW and Mercedes [NB: no mention of Cadillac]. Booth reckons the move makes sense 'cause car buyers are catching up with Swedish values: "Care for the family, concern for the environment and a design aesthetic that values simplicity over all else." Needless to say, Peter Horbury, the British designer who penned Volvo's new look (and identified the average American Ford customer as "Dave"), agrees. Horbury issued the headline above, as well as declaring "Volvo is bought by somebody who is self-confident enough to make their own decision." So if Volvo is Ford's new upscale brand, where does that leave Lincoln? Perhaps their execs are busy asking each other talar du Ikea?

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Stuki Stuki on Dec 03, 2007

    If turning the world Swedish means equipping Volvos with Ohlin’s suspensions, Dux bed comfortable seats and Eleiko weightlifting bar production tolerances, I’m all for it. If, on the other hand, it means IKEA built interiors upholstered by H&M..........., the whole adventure will likely end about as happy as a Bergman movie.

  • Eric_Stepans Eric_Stepans on Dec 03, 2007

    The song was "Turning Japanese" by The Vapors. One of the classic "One-hit wonders" of the 1980s... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpCcelpvkps

  • Yankinwaoz Yankinwaoz on Dec 03, 2007

    Hmmmm... that song had nothing to do with Japan. The song is about masturbating while stuck in prison or jail. Listen to the lyrics and it will make sense.

  • Rjones Rjones on Dec 03, 2007

    Great idea Ford. Volvo made a profit in 2006 so why not $%^&* it up? Volvo should stick to what they know. Just because they have great seats and interiors second only to Audi doesn’t mean they can play with the big boys. Volvo will lose if they try to go head-to-head with BMW, Mercedes and Lexus because no one associates the Volvo brand with luxury. People don’t by a Volvo for the prestige; Volvos are for people who know that no one gives a rat’s ass what you drive. The Volvo brand means safety, and to a lesser extent longevity, although less so these days; the 240 was discontinued almost 15 years ago and the current models aren’t nearly as solid. Not slagging them though. My wife and I share two Volvos: an XC70 and an S60. Safe, practical and relatively reliable? You bet. Luxurious? Not so much.