Volvo CEO: "Our Cars Are Too Complicated"

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
volvo ceo our cars are too complicated

Here’s a breath of fresh air; Volvo CEO Stefan Jacoby declared that his cars, laden with safety systems and other gadgets, are too complex for most of Volvo’s customers.

Jacoby cited a study, which claimed that 75 percent of Volvo customers didn’t know the full potential of their cars. Citing Apple as an example, Jacoby said

“Our cars are too complicated for the consumer. Our intention is to have an intuitive car that lets the driver actually feel like he’s in command,”

My parents have an XC60, and while they’re pretty tech savvy, they still have trouble deciphering the various three-letter safety systems in their car, and I don’t think they’ve ever gone deep into the muti-layered menus since taking delivery of the car. Taking a pro-simplicity position is something that most of us can identify with.Volvo will have a unique challenge on its hands, since so much of its identity is wrapped up in being on the leading edge of safety and design. Making their cars easier to use while progressing technologically is a task that many have failed at – witness the lack of a legitimate iPod competitor if you need further proof.

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  • MrWhopee MrWhopee on Jun 25, 2012

    Just look at your remote. Be it for TV or even air conditioner, chances are they have lots and lots of buttons, mostly for obscure functions you'll never use.

  • Daveainchina Daveainchina on Jun 26, 2012

    "witness the lack of a legitimate iPod competitor if you need further proof." Uhh last I checked Android is leading overall sales by far compared to the iPhone. I don't mind some rhetoric here and there, but please check your numbers as far as sales. Is the market fragmented? Sure then again so is the windows PC market. Yet no one would claim that Windows isn't competitive even if many average people disagree. As an individual phone the iPhone sells more, but thats really because of lack of choice, not from anything else. Android has perhaps too many platforms, but to dismiss it as not competitive is pretty misleading.

    • See 1 previous
    • Fred Fred on Jun 26, 2012

      @daveainchina I know Apple fans will hate me, but Ipods are too expensive compared to other mp3 players. Besides they don't work at all with Linux, and that Itunes software is a propitary nightmare.

  • Dr. Claw Dr. Claw on Jun 26, 2012

    This might be true of their safety systems... but Volvo's infotainment system is one of the few on the market that offers more buttons than touch screen fumbling nonsense. I wish my own had those features.

  • Danwat1234 Danwat1234 on Jul 13, 2012

    Cars in the future will be complicated, you can't really avoid that. More and more safety features like radar and depth perception cameras so the car will know if you are about to take a curve too fast and will urge you to slow down before you even take the turn. Adaptive cruise control even in stop and go conditions, perpendicular as well as parallel self parking. Complex trip meters so people can see the history of the car's MPG. Feature-rich infortainment and wifi hotspot, steering wheel heart rate sensors and sensors in the seats to analyze the driver's mood to see if they are able to multitask or not. Not seen by the driver: Complex sensors in the seats so the car knows how occupants are sitting (or if their legs are on the dash) so it will know which air bags to deploy and how strongly to deploy them. Complexity might not all be seen by the driver but car's are becoming more complex every year = higher maintenance costs when something goes wrong and in the end, more menus and more buttons on the dash.