By on September 2, 2008

The Detroit News reports that Volvo CEO Fredrik Arp is the third Ford big boss in the last month to fall/get pushed from power (after Canada and Australia’s suits). Arp has handed the reins to Stephen Odell, a former Ford Europe exec. Odell’s got a full proverbial plate: massive layoffs (1200 workers), rising raw material costs, a weak dollar, a weak sales in their core market (that’s you Yanks), the dud S80, the D.O.A. C30 and falling demand for SUVs (e.g. the XC90 and soon-to-be-released XC60). Leaving those issues aside, Ford’s Executive Vice President exchanged the usual PR pleasantries. “Fredrik has decided that now is the right time to hand over to a new president and CEO,” Lewis Booth pronounced. “Who will lead the Volvo team through the next stage of its recovery.” The next stage of recovery? What recovery? Doesn’t Booth mean the next stage of Volvo’s sale? According to Ford’sofficial profile, Stephen Odell’s speciality is sales and marketing. Who better to prep Ford’s ailing Swede for sale?

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18 Comments on “Volvo Gets New Head Viking...”

  • avatar

    Has Cammy become Franks successor or something? Half of the news stories today have been written by her.

    I am not saying thats a bad thing, I actually like her writing, I am just wondering.

  • avatar
    Justin Berkowitz

    No, I am Frank’s successor. She is just our newest blogger.

  • avatar

    It might help sales if they actually marketed the C30. Aside from the review on TTAC I haven’t seen squat about that car, I have yet to see one on the road but Vovlos are rare around here since the nearest dealer is an hour away.

    It’s been sad to see Volvo become Ford’s bitch over the last decade. Use them up for the engineering and design then whore them out for whatever cash they can get.

    Justin do we get a podcast today?

  • avatar

    The C30 is nice, it just is not $33,000 to $35,000 nice!

    This is the car that get some young folks into Volvo dealerships and than scares them off!
    You would think that a company that needs the sales and ATTENTION would have created some decently priced “loaded” packages to keep the price below $30,000. But NO Volvo is trying to sell these things as if Volvo was still the cats meow.

  • avatar

    whatdoiknow1 you must be in Canada, according to the Volvo website it starts at $23,000 in the US.

  • avatar

    Cammy’s welcome any day. Good to hear her views. We’ve long admired her out here.

    Of course, now we have to be NICE to her…

  • avatar

    Volvo’s problem is that it tried to march upmarket to do battle with BMW and Mercedes, instead of tending its traditional, and rather lucrative, mid-luxury niche. When the S80 came out I was initially intrigued, so I walked down to the nearby dealer. I was flabbergasted to see a $60K pricetag on the V8 4-wheel drive model, which priced it against the 5-series.

    When I sat in the car I noted misaligned trim pieces galore, and some trim that was *falling off*.

    You expect people to pay $60K for this? I wondered. Add to that service costs that rival Mercedes, and Volvo just has no value proposition anymore.

    The C30 is just a repeat of the same process. Who is going to pay $34K for something a Mini can run off the road? Or a GTI? Answer: The same people who are still using OS/2.

  • avatar

    Ive never understood the passion for Volvo`s
    maybe someone out there can me as to the fondness for this make.
    Back in the 70`s my best friend`s mom and dab drove a Volvo sedan.I cant remember the model…P1800??
    but my friend bought a old worn out Puegot 303..with a crank starter!!!
    much more fun!!!
    and I might ad…no time in the shop!
    If kids are influenced by their parents cars….I think Volvo would be broke.

  • avatar

    I’d love to have a C30, but it’s just too expensive. Make it 20k and give it a more fuel efficient engine and I’m buying one.

  • avatar

    That $23,000 price is a bunch of BS. If you option one out online or look at the inventory prices they are all in the $30,000+ range. I do not think any of the dealers are stocking any base models.

  • avatar

    I didn’t realize it doesn’t come with anything for the $23 or even $25000 price tag, a $300 option for cruise control? What the hell happen to Volvo, that’s insane do they think they are BMW or Porsche with the crazy option prices.

  • avatar

    I actually got very close to buying a C30. They just weren’t optioned right. I actually did find a couple examples close to the $23K example, but they had weird, inexcusable option omissions like no cruise control. Prices went up very, very quickly in order to get a car that included the few extra options I wanted. If I didn’t have a pressing need to buy a car at that time, I would have just done the European delivery program so I could have gotten exactly what I wanted along with a free trip. Unfortunately I just didn’t have the time… sigh.

  • avatar

    I wonder what Mulally said to get three group Presidents to leave in such quick succession. If it wasn’t you’re fired, I’m sure it was interesting. Frankly, they all needed to go for various reasons. Whatever it was, bravo. The shake up continues…

  • avatar

    I think of Volvo as an upmarket brand, but not in the same way as Mercedes or BMW. Hitting the entry-level or near luxury segment does seem to be the best bet for success. Give customers all of the features of a Merc or Beemer, but with better build quality and with a lower price. The Volvo quirky factor has alas become too diluted to even draw in that fringe market (similar to Saab).

    I wouldn’t spend more for a Volvo than an established luxo brand, but if I could get the same thing for less money and it was built like a tank, I would jump at it.

  • avatar

    If you want a C30 just get the Mazda version the 3. Mazda version is better just doesn’t have the Euro mark up.
    Ford is done raping Volvo now they are in the process with Mazda.

    Next gen Mustang will be off the RX8 platform sans rotary.
    The Miata is next…

  • avatar

    I just looked at the us Volvo site, and they´re just offering 1 (one) engine???
    This happens to be the strongest AND the thirstiest engine they have.
    They have a 100bhp, 145, 170 and the above 227 gasoline.
    They also have diesels, 109, 136 and 180bhp.
    They also have a flexifuel 125bhp engine.
    In these times of high fuel prices, that´s insane.

  • avatar

    The comment above is about the C 30.

  • avatar
    Dr Lemming

    Is this considered a promotion for Odell, who has been mentioned as a possible successor to Mullaly?

    Redbarchetta: Ford seems to have a consistent weakness in its market efforts. The C30 should be doing better. Part of the problem is pricing, but Ford also seems to have the attitude that its products should sell themselves.

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