Volvo Boss: Expect Another 10% U.S. Sales Drop

Alex L. Dykes
by Alex L. Dykes
volvo boss expect another 10 u s sales drop

In an interview with Teknikens Värld, Volvo CEO Fredrik Arp revealed that he expected Volvo USA will continue to lose customers. Arp reckons you can figure another 10 percent of their business will head for the hills. That's in addition to May's 25 percent drop. The spin: Volvo's sales in North America are not profitable simply because of the weak dollar– implying (somehow) that good sales are bad, er, bad sales are good. Hang on; does that mean Volvo is losing money on [what remains] of its U.S. sales? Either way, it seems the developer of the three point seatbelt will be moving to a former Ford plant in the USA. Mercedes is doing it, BMW is doing it, the birds and the bees are doing it, so why not a profitable North American plant for Volvo? Of course, if they're preparing to sell the brand, maybe someone at the top reckons its best to cut bait and fish. Does the fact that Volvo isn't on the Ford media site's photo finder drop down menu (separate link) tell you anything?

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  • Jpau Jpau on Jun 04, 2008

    Really, can Lincoln and build Volvo in the US as the up-model. Lincoln had cachet, back when the Trans Am had it as well. Today? phtbbthbtt

  • IDANECK IDANECK on Jun 04, 2008

    I still don't understand why Volvo has to be considered a luxury brand. It's definitely an "executive" car in much of Europe. I guess all the late 80's and early 90's yuppies did that to Volvo in the US. Back in the early 80s, my dad (at that point an engineer at a Texaco refinery) seriously considered a Volvo. There weren't many in Baton Rouge but he liked the engineering of the vehicle, and the price wasn't much more than a GM A-car or Ford Fairmont. He ended up getting a turbocharged aero Bird, and then later a string of Taurii (MT5, SHO, Sable). I bet that Volvo would have outlasted all those vehicles. It's what I love about our 82 244, basic and solid vehicle. The platform was designed in the 60's as the 100-series. That says alot for Volvo design and engineering for the car to still be revered as it is today. That's what Volvo needs to be doing, build something that is actually made to last, with the driver and passenger in mind. As much as I hate to say it (being both a FoMoCo and Volvo fan) but maybe Ford does need to loosen it's grip on Volvo and let them compete in their own market as a niche player that goes beyond just price points. @Steven Lang: Why would Volvo want a recycled version of their S80? That's all you're suggesting. Of course, I'd like to see some decontented Volvos like the old 100 (not the Mitsu derivatives), 200, and 700 series were. I'd definitely buy one though, I like the previous XC70 but wish it was a bit more basic...I guess there is always the Outback.

  • Cammy Corrigan Cammy Corrigan on Jun 04, 2008

    The only way Volvo can survive is to go back to its roots. That is, cars for the masses with families with safety and rock solid reliability as standard. This will be a tough sell, especially outside of North America. Firstly, as I've said in the past, Volvo lost its "Safety Kings" title to Renault and they've shown zero interest in getting it back. Secondly, their reliability HAS taken a hit. Nobody can tell me that the Volvos of today are as solid as the Volvos of the past. Where they may pick up some cache is to market themselves as an alternative to an SUV. I don't mean crossovers, but as estate type cars. Volvo used to make some brilliant estate cars (740 springs to mind) There certainly is scope to save Volvo. Its future lies in its past.......

  • Detroit1701 Detroit1701 on Jun 04, 2008

    The first problem with Volvo is that none of its NA cars have impressive fuel economy. Strike one. Second, the car that appeals to youth (C30) essentially costs 30K once you add an automatic transmission and cruise control. Strike two. Where are the smaller displacement engines (1.8, 2.0, etc.)? Diesels?