S60 Concept: The Car That Won't Save Volvo

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
s60 concept the car that won t save volvo

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  • Psarhjinian Psarhjinian on Jan 12, 2009
    Once they went FWD and tried to fit in, Volvo lost the quirkiness that made Volvo Volvo. No, they lost relevance in the market because they wanted to follow Audi and Lexus' road to glory; they wanted to be a BMW/Merc competitor, when they would have been safe battling Subaru, Volkswagen and Acura for for the mid-market. Now they're squeezed on the low end by top-tier versions of "normal" cars like the Accord, and can't possibly compete with the 3-Series. Saab has the same problem, so does Acura (almost). If Subaru gets arrogant, it will, too. You can charge twice as much as an Accord EX V6 for a smaller, slower, only slightly-more-luxurious car unless you have three-pointed star on the hood. Otherwise, it's brand suicide.

  • CAHIBOstep CAHIBOstep on Jan 12, 2009

    @Jimal I think it is overly sentimental to say that Volvo sold its soul when it went to FWD. The 240 was indeed a safe car. The solid steel cage around the passenger compartment saved many lives. But its only other safety feature was three-point seatbelts (first used by Volvo in 1959). The FWD Volvos incorporated now ubiquitous modern safety features into one package: ABS, front and side airbags, a whiplash protection system, seat belt pre-tensioners, etc. When Volvo REALLY sold its soul to Ford in 1999, it sold more cars than ever before -- about 3.5 million in nine years. 2004 was an all-time high for Volvo with 460,000 cars sold. They have never sold less than 400,000 a year under Ford (until 2008). In comparison, Volvo sold 2.8 million 240s -- between 1975 and 1993 (18 years). Numbers don't tell the whole story, of course. We all have expectations for what a car should or shouldn't be, and what its value is to us. But I don't see where Volvo has betrayed its identity by moving upmarket. Volvos are the best they have ever been in every way. My V50 T5 makes my old 240 seem like a Model T. And it is every bit a Volvo to me -- a much better, safer one.

  • Chuck Norton And guys are having wide spread issues with the 10 speed transmission with the HP numbers out of the factory......
  • Zerofoo "Hyundais just got better and better during the 1990s, though, and memories of those shoddy Excels faded."Never. A friend had an early 90s Hyundai Excel as his college beater. One day he decided that the last tank of gas he bought was worth more than the car. He drove it to empty and then he and his fraternity brothers pushed it into the woods and left it there.
  • Kwik_Shift There are no new Renegades for sale within my geographic circle of up to 85 kms. Looks like the artificial shortage game. They bring one in, 10 buyers line up for it, $10,000 over MSRP. Yeah. Like with a lot of new cars.
  • Ribbedroof In Oklahoma, no less!
  • Ribbedroof Have one in the shop for minor front collision repairs right now,I've seen more of these in the comments than in the 30 years I've been in collision repair.