Sinking Swedes: Volvo Loses $231 Million, Saab Drops $553 Million
The Swedes are sinking fast. Swedish Wire reports that Ford’s Volvo brand continues to be the elephant fart in the room, sucking wind to the tune of $231 million for the second financial quarter. “The decline primarily reflected lower volumes, partly offset by continued progress on cost reductions and favorable exchange,” the American carmaker pronounced. You mean it could have been worse? Meanwhile, SAAB,’s guzzling a gas tanker’s worth of not good. The former GM division, now owned by Old GM (which is like having an arsonist for a security guard), “made an operation loss last year of 4,148 million kronor ([€]377 million, $553 million). That is an increase of 90 percent from a loss of 2.194 million kronor a year ago . . . . During 2008 the company sold 93,220 cars, according to the TT news wire. That’s 25 percent fewer than 2007 when the company sold 125,085 cars.” And even then Saab didn’t make a profit. Despite deals to off-load the Swedish automakers on suspecting “investors,” their days of mass market sales are färdig. Unlike GM, they probably know it.
Well I'm not surprised with Volvo's downturn. I was recently in the market for a small hatchback, and really liked the looks of the C30.But when I found out that just to get cruise control on a $23,800 (MSRP pricing) car that you had to pay $300 for a "custom build" and then $185 for the cruise control I said forget it.add in destination and an automatic transmission and they want $26,360. Why a "premium" car doesn't come with as basic a feature as cruise control is beyond belief.Why wouldn't anyone just chose the Mazda 3 which manages to share the same architecture for almost six thousand less, and comes well equipped ?
It's even worse, globally, in which the Volvo C30 and S40 are available on the market right beside the Mazda3 and the global Focus. The Mazda3 aims at the low-end of the market... it's sporty, stylish and good-looking, inside and out. The Ford Focus adds more sound-proofing, better interior materials (on the new Focus) and a styling language that looks suspiciously Volvo-like. Volvo adds a little more luxury and much better interiors, but their cars don't seem to drive as well as the Focus... which is bad. Really bad. While Ford and Mazda3 can co-exist peacefully by aiming at different segments of the market, Ford's European products are so good for the price that upgrading to Volvo just doesn't seem worth the extra money. - Saab actually makes enough cars to lose over 500 million a year? Who knew?
Here's why my I put my loved ones in a Volvo and not the competition (from a NCTD review): "Maybe more than anyone, Volvo devotes impressive resources and manpower to improve occupant protection. The XC90 offers the full array of active and passive safety features, including a Roll Stability Control system designed to keep the XC90 from rolling over, and a rollover protection system intended to shield occupants in the extremely unlikely event that a rollover actually occurs. Less obvious are features like a roof structure fashioned from high-strength steel, or a lower front crossmember engineered to inflict less damage on small vehicles if an accident occurs." Has anyone seen the recent roof crush standard tests? Watch the XC90 vs. say, the Ridgeline. There's no comparison. I hope this isn't the last Volvo that I get to purchase.
John Horner: I forgot to specify that I was referring to Canadian pricing - Volvo has barely adjusted it here. You are correct about the US pricing. BTW, 42K CDN is currently about 38K USD. No bargain.