Volvo Slows Production

volvo slows production

Now that Ford has ditched… er, sold Jaguar and Land Rover they're turning their attention to their Swedish marriage from 1999. It seems that Volvo's North American sales slowdown has finally rippled across the pond. Volvo is reporting an 80-day supply of certain models. As a result the Swedes have decided to idle the factory in Uddevalla (a joint venture with Pininfarina) that produces the C70 for two weeks while Ford decides what to do. In addition, the factory in Torslanda will be idled for one week to get inventory down to their target level of 60 days. Obviously they don't have to deal with the UAW.

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  • Jthorner Jthorner on Apr 08, 2008

    I used to be a big Volvo fan, but today there is no really good reason to buy one, except perhaps if you want a station wagon. Volvo should have built the world's best high end minivan 15 years ago ... but no, we got the "sexy" C70 instead. It has been a looser forever. Too expensive for what it really is. Today there is no reason to buy a Volvo over the competing offerings from Acura, Lexus and Infiniti. The Japanese offerings are better built, longer lasting and more sophisticated. Who would want an S60 instead of a G35? An Acura MDX is going to be serving you well long after an XC90 has been retired due to escalating service costs. Volvo doesn't have a single best-in-class product. Besides being old, the S60 is too small, especially in the back seat. For some reason the S70 (850) sized car which was exactly right for four adults was replaced by a smaller car at the same price point. For some reason the V70 lived on, but in sedans you have to go smaller (S60) or bigger (S80). Modern Volvos also do not age as well as they used to. My friends with 100k+ miles modern Volvos are constantly dealing with expensive ancillary system repairs, and Volvo's parts pricing is typically European absurd. Volvo never expanded it's production base out of high cost Europe and has long counted on the US at it's single biggest market. Now with the dollar in the tank Volvo is in a real bind. It's largest market pays in worthless dollars. It doesn't help that over the years unlucky customers have gotten stuck with horrible problems and an unsympathetic Volvo USA. ABS controllers that fail soon after the warranty is up, a flood of failed throttle bodies which Volvo finally had to extend the warranty on after a protracted legal battle, etc. Ford has mismanaged this one as badly as it did Jaguar and Land Rover. Finally, I agree that Volvo's hold on the safety brand is dead. Nearly every automobile Volvo competes with now sports advanced safety engineering. Volvo set off on a course of pursuing fashion over the past decade or so and now is reaping the ups and downs that go with such a strategy. Still hungry Tata?

  • Voice of Sweden Voice of Sweden on Apr 08, 2008

    jthorner> I think that Volvo offers attractive cars, much more exciting than the "US-brand-bland"-mix from Acura, Infiniti and Lexus. Regarding quality I would agree somewhat, using FoMoCo components gives you FoMoCo quality. But if you look close at many of the components in a Volvo, you find that they are from Denso. DENSO is a member of the Toyota Group companies.

  • Ronin Ronin on Apr 08, 2008

    Love the XC70, but jeez, it stickers for more than a Buick Enclave, has less room, gets poorer fuel consumption. And has a bad repuation for very pricey work starting to ramp up once the warranty is up. I think the Subaru make has quietly intruded on the former Volvo stronghold in the US northeast, offering a perception of superior value and longterm quality.

  • Voice of Sweden Voice of Sweden on Apr 08, 2008

    ronin> I agree that Subaru make nice cars, well engineered, good quality. Regarding XC70 vs. Enclave. The AWD models consume 15 / 22 vs. 16 / 22. The Enclave is roomier, because it's bigger, but as you say then the smaller XC70 really should have better mpgs. I think that Ford should have invested more of Volvo Cars earlier profits in Volvo product development.