By on October 29, 2016

Rear Volvo Word mark Volvo S90 Mussel Blue

First it was Hyundai flinging special discounts in the direction of imminently carless Volkswagen diesel owners. Now Volvo has added its name to the list of automakers attempting to woo this unique crop of vehicular nomads.

The approval of Volkswagen’s massive settlement deal with U.S. owners and environmental regulators on Tuesday is apparently a sales opportunity not to be missed, but Volvo is approaching it from a different direction than Hyundai.

According to online retailer CarsDirect, while Hyundai promises slashed price tags, Volvo will offer would-be buyers extra piece of mind.

From now until January 2, Volvo is offering owners of bought-back Volkswagen TDI models five years of complimentary “Safe & Secure Coverage” — a perk applied to any 2016 or 2017 Volvo model. Like the Hyundai deal, you’ll need to show proof of 2.0-liter diesel ownership.

So, what is Volvo really offering? The boosted warranty, which CarDirect estimates to be worth $1,700, brings five years or 50,000 miles of free scheduled maintenance, free roadside assistance, and no-cost replacement of brake components and wiper blades. For a premium vehicle, this isn’t exactly a screaming deal — especially when compared with the savings Hyundai has on the table.

However, Volvo and Hyundai aren’t exactly direct competitors, and the offer isn’t insignificant for those already thinking of ditching the Germans in favor of the Swedes. But wait, there’s more.

Buyers of a certified pre-owned Volvo stand to gain a $750 credit and a seven-year, 100,000 mile warranty, plus free roadside assistance. Oh, and there’s also existing incentives for Volkswagen and Audi owners totaling several thousand dollars in savings. A buyer of a 2016 V60 could see $4,500 placed on the hood (for a limited time, anyway).

Volvo is slowly recovering in the U.S. after several years wandering the sales desert. If it’s able to lure some Volkswagen owners into its fold, Germany’s loss is Sweden’s gain.

[Image: Volvo]

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48 Comments on “Now Volvo Wants to Be Volkswagen Owners’ New Best Friend...”


  • avatar
    Fred

    I only know one person with a VW TDI and she still likes it. I’m pretty sure she won’t like a Hyundai and can’t afford a Volvo.

    • 0 avatar
      focus-ed

      If she likes TDI she’d like new TSI. Comparable mpg when driven at sane speed and functional design Germans are known for. Still it sucks that EPA forces environmentally irresponsible vehicle replacements instead of just fining VW and using funds towards green causes.
      BTW, that 1700$ credit towards warranty/service up to 50k miles is not the best thing to highlight to would be Volvo owners. I’d call it very high TCO that even VW owners may not be accustomed to.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        According to a maintenance schedule I found online, new Volvos have 10,000 mile oil change interval.
        They also need an air filter at 40, cabin filters at 20 and 40, brake fluid flush at 40, and a parking brake adjustment at 20 and 40. Don’t know if wipers are covered, but they should be changed every year or two. My guess is that $1,700 is more than enough to cover all that. You will be left with a balance (unless Volvos suffer from Y2K-era GM-style brake wear).

        Seems like an entirely reasonable maintenance schedule. I know lots of people who don’t do that much, but they usually pay extra down the road.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          10K oil change? Yeahhhhhhhh….

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            That’s not unusual for modern European engines. It’s not just fluff like in the early 90s when Japanese brands increased their intervals and we saw junked Tercel blocks stacked high behind dealerships.

            It’s a mixture of higher oil capacity (6+ quarts for a small 4 cylinder) with automatic level monitoring, better synthetic oils, better filters, better PCV, low-friction designs, and better thermal management.

            Electric water pumps and cooled exhaust manifolds do a lot to ensure that engines get to operating temperature quickly.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I would think given the supercharged turbo Volvo sorcery of late, fluid change intervals should decrease, not increase.

            “It’s a mixture of higher oil capacity (6+ quarts for a small 4 cylinder) with automatic level monitoring, better synthetic oils, better filters, better PCV, low-friction designs, and better thermal management.

            Electric water pumps and cooled exhaust manifolds do a lot to ensure that engines get to operating temperature quickly.”

            I’m not a mechanical engineer, but these seem like little hacks. What happens when one of the links in the chain weakens or breaks?

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            The (polymer) link that is most likely to break is if the owner uses non-approved oil or sub-standard filters. Everything else is monitored by OBD. There will always be owners who try to save a couple bucks per oil change and end-up wasting tens of thousands. Those people can’t be helped.

            By the way, it’s not just Volvo doing this. The industry as a whole has increased oil change intervals over the past 25 years.

    • 0 avatar
      Jimal

      We’ve decided to return our 2013 Passat, not because of Dieselgate per say, but because there is no timeline for the Takata airbag replacement. Then there are the reliability issues. I’m now filing for reimbursement for the AdBlue heater I just replaced at my own expense but was just notified of the warranty extension on.

  • avatar
    TDIandThen....

    This makes me very happy. Now if only Volvo had a manual, affordable-sporty, or super-efficient car for me instead of dad-mobiles…. I guess it’s 2018 or bust for me.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      I like dadmobiles. Because I’m a dad with two kids, and a third on the way.

      I love driving small cars, but with three young children, the smallest vehicle that really works for us is a Mazda5. At least for now — it’ll be easier to cram three of them into a 2-row vehicle when they’re older and out of carseats.

      Volvo’s dadmobiles aren’t all that serious. If they want to get serious, they need to man up and put sliding doors on the XC90, and cut the price in half. In other words, they need to turn the XC90 into a minivan.

      An alternative would be a Ridgeline-like pickup truck based on th XC90 platform. The Hibda Ridgeline has a big enough back seat that you can put 3-across, which looks like it’s unique in the midsize pickup segment. But the Ridgeline’s swinging doors are a disadvantage for infant-loading and for older kids who sometimee push the door open without full situational awareness. The pickup bed is a useful tradeoff, though.

      My Sienna has a exceeded my willingness to pay for its maintenance, and so I’m shopping for a dad mobile. Alas, Volvo doesn’t have any serious offerings for my use-case.

  • avatar
    gasser

    A reasonable effort to grab market share. I concur with the above comments that the market segment of a 2.0 TDI doesn’t exactly overlap with Volvo’s price point, but some of those VW diesel owners may be ready to move up-market.
    Even a small number of conquests will help Volvo’s sales numbers.

  • avatar
    Asdf

    “and the offer isn’t insignificant for those already thinking of ditching the Germans in favor of the Swedes.”

    Ditching the Germans in favor of the CHINESE!

    “Germany’s loss is Sweden’s gain.”

    Germany’s loss is CHINA’s gain!

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      We get it: Chrysler is Dutch, GM is Chinese, Jaguar is Indian, Nissan is French, Mack Trucks are Swedish, Freightliner is German.

      …because it doesn’t matter one bit who works for these companies, where their products are designed and/or built, what their history is, or where their main markets are. All that matters is tracing your way up the corporate structure until you find something you don’t like.

    • 0 avatar
      tremorcontrol

      For your next trick, you’ll be telling us that Budweiser and Bud Light are now Belgian ales because InBev owns them. The other issue with this bumper-sticker level analysis is that based on economies of scale, I wouldn’t be surprised if VW, GM, and Ford pump more money into China’s infrastructure and success than Volvo ever will. Meaning that until the world’s major auto companies pull their joint ventures completely from China, buying a Ford/VW/Audi/Mercedes/BMW/Honda/Nissan means you’re still contributing to the improvement of China’s auto industry — you don’t get to decide where the profit they get from your purchase gets allocated in the financial structure.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automotive_industry_in_China

  • avatar
    CincyDavid

    I really want to like Volvo cars, but when a stripped down S60 with cloth seats and no sunroof costs $10k more than a comparably equipped Accord, I just don’t see any reason to go there.

    If I ever hit the lotto, I wouldn’t object to parking an S90 in the garage…

    • 0 avatar
      don1967

      One reason to go there is Volvo’s used CPO fleet. Huge initial depreciation, long warranty, and (for those “keepers” who live in the salt belt) virtual imperviousness to rust. It’s a BMW without the crippling repair bills.

      Hopefully there will be a few S90s coming off the Hertz fleet when it’s time to pass my S80 down the family chain.

  • avatar
    1998redwagon

    i own a tdi. i think i am one of 16 other people in the usa who are seriously considering keeping their polluting tdi. my wife needs a new car within a year i wonder if any of these (hyundai, kia, volvo, etc) offers will be available even if i dont turn my car in to vw?

    hope so. a sale is a sale.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t own a TDI, but had I driven one before I bought my ’08 Civic (in January, ’12), I think I would have bought one. I’ve been helping four people with TDIs.

      Two of them absolutely LOVE the car (both have sticks), for the same reasons I do–it’s practical, and wonderful to drive. They’re hanging on to theirs as long as they can do so and still get the buy back if VW doesn’t come up with a fix that leaves the cars running well, and that will pass muster with emissions inspections.

      My brother, who has a slushbox, and who, despite his protestations that he loves driving his Prius (his Boxster driving best friend and I just laugh at him), has never really appreciated cars as anything more than appliances (same with houses!). The TDI is his wife’s car. the plan is to take the buy-back and buy a gas VW, one where everything is as similar as possible to the TDI, since his wife doesn’t take well to new controls. (Self driving cars would make her very happy.)

      The last person is a friend who has some appreciation for cars, but has a slushbox so that his wife can drive the thing. He’s also probably waiting to see if the fix will allow hanging onto the TDI, more of a pragmatic decision than out of love of the car. But he has tried out a few cars including the latest Prius.

      I don’t see any of them switching to either Hyundai or Volvo.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I’m not sure you’ll have a choice to keep your car.

      • 0 avatar
        thattruthguy

        VW hasn’t come up with an acceptable fix, and they’ve agreed to buy back cars. There’s no reason to give current owners a hardship exemption to continue operating non-compliant cars. They can take the settlement and select from any number of compliant cars, including other VWs.

      • 0 avatar
        DevilsRotary86

        As has been stated before, it will likely depend on your state. California? Just turn in the keys, sorry. But I really don’t see Texas giving a damn. And my dad’s side of the family lives in the part of Indiana where they don’t even run safety inspections much less emissions inspections. I don’t see them raising a finger to keep these foul VW’s off the roads.

        Keeping it isn’t really wise. Least of all problems with eventually moving across state lines. But people have done dumber things before because they love a car.

    • 0 avatar
      TheDoctorIsOut

      I own two and living here in the PRC (Peoples Republic of California) and since it is not protected by the 2nd or any other Amendment, CARB is going to pry it from my warm, angry hands. Still what simultaneous surprises me yet not surprises me is that VW is about to lose a shot at over 400,000 customers by not being the first one out the door with some sort of loyalty cash on the hood kind of thing. Every VW salesweasel at every local store should have been on the phone cold calling every customer they sold and offering lease or purchase deals and a free key chain to entice the base to in order to keep filling the service bays with maintenance and repair work. Meanwhile I’m probably going to pick up the keys to a new Audi Q

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    Is 50k of scheduled maintenance really worth $1700 these days? Brakes normally last longer than that. Seems like a lot of money for oil changes and wiper blades.

    I doubt that many Jetta and US Passat buyers cross shop Volvo, but a serious Volvo offer might get some attention when the Touareg and Audis get bought back.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    What puzzles me is not that Volvo and Hyundai are doing this, but why isn’t everyone else doing it. Where’s the old killer instinct that we all knew and loved from Detroit?

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      Too slim a pickins?

    • 0 avatar
      notwhoithink

      Yeah, we have been waiting for that as well. Hyundai’s news broke this week, Volvo sent us all flyers at the beginning of the month. GM’s only play seems to be “Hey guys, we’re going to have a compact diesel and a diesel hatchback sometime in 2017!” Nobody else has reached out to us at all. You’d think that if car sales are down so much that maybe a manufacturer would think “Hey, there’s over 300k TDI owners who will be buying new cars in the next 3-4 months, maybe we should make a play for them.”

    • 0 avatar
      turbo_awd

      Have you seen “the smug” of (most) TDI owners? They’re neck-and-neck with Priuchebags..

      No way they’d be caught dead moving from a ‘superior, german-engineered “clean” diesel’ to an american gas guzzler. European/Asian gas sipper, maybe. US diesel, I guess, but other than the Cruze, what is there? No wagons anywhere in sight..

  • avatar
    vwgolf420

    The cheapest Volvo is about 30% more expensive than a Jetta or Golf TDI and 25% more than a Passat TDI. That’s a big difference. Of course, I have no idea how lower middle class folks afford a $40K F-150.

    • 0 avatar
      notwhoithink

      I think that there is an inherent assumption in many of these posts that people always buy the most expensive car that they can afford. They don’t, or at least not always. I know plenty of Sportwagen TDI owners who bought it because they wanted the practicality of a diesel-powered wagon. Now that there is no diesel wagon option they’re looking at other wagons. Many of them are looking at Outbacks (around $30k) and others are looking at the V60 (even the XC70). They just didn’t see the point of spending an extra $10k for a Volvo when they could get what they wanted in a fully loaded Spotwagen.

      The simple fact is, if you cross VW off of the list there’s very few options for a wagon in the US these days. You can go Volvo, Subaru, or BMW (if you can find one). They’re all most expensive that VW, but that’s the price you pay to get what you want.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        Correct. The other inherent assumption is that people’s lives never change. Promotions, moves, kids born or moving-out on their own; even evolving tastes and priorities.

        VW and Volvo are at least in the same ballpark (and not just alphabetically). They both offer an understated, tidy European design and driving experience. If you are into those, it’s unlikely that you will settle for a Camry-style interior or driving feedback. It’s one of those things that you can’t un-learn.

  • avatar
    phreshone

    Too bad Volvo isn’t as good at interior packaging as it was in the 90’s…. Pretty sure the new V90 won’t have better cargo space than the Golf SPortwagen

  • avatar

    Why Chinese companies do not want to take advantage of VW’s woes?

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      Because they haven’t yet achieved even VW’s level of quality and crash-worthiness?

      But their reluctance to yet float a Chinese brand in the US market probably shows vastly more objectivity than VW’s about what it takes to compete here.

    • 0 avatar
      Asdf

      Volvo IS a Chinese company, and as per the article above this comment section, it does want to take advantage of VW’s woes.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        Yabbut Volvo has enormous name recognition and accumulated respect in the US regardless of its current provenance and 99% of buyers don’t inquire or care about provenance.

        Plus, no goofy-ass Chinese name like Baolong, Dadi, Dongfeng, Forta, Foton, Fudi, Fukang, Gonow, Huachen, Jianghuai, Jiangnan, Lifan, Shuanghuan, SAIC Motor, or Tianma to overcome.

      • 0 avatar
        don1967

        @Asdf – Thank you for repeatedly informing TTAC readers that Volvo is owned by a Chinese company. We had no idea.

        Next thing you know IBM computers and Apple iPads will be Chinese-owned and/or assembled.

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          Everyone knows that Apple is an Irish company. That’s why they don’t pay tax in the US.

          • 0 avatar

            But Apple endorsed Hillary who will only increase corporate taxes. I understand that as an Irish company they do not care but why they intervene in US elections and want increase taxes on their competition? When Gasprom does it everyone gets ballistic – so unfair.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            Inside,

            Their CEO hosted a fundraiser, but I haven’t seen anything implying that the whole company endorsed either side.

            What the problem is with an American taking a stand in an election?

            Did a quick search and found this recent WSJ headline: “No Fortune 100 CEOs Back Trump”. So… no need to single-out Apple.

      • 0 avatar

        Actual Chinese brand would be more cost competitive with Hyundai. Volvo is neither luxury brand nor mainstream. It is a European equivalent of Buick – no mans zone survived only thanks to China.

        • 0 avatar

          Believe me if they find out that you support Trump you will get fired one way or another and will get death threats too. I always imitate support of Democrats for my own good. How I actually vote is a different question.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Why would death threats from us liberal pussies worry you?

            We can’t even swat mosquitoes because our eyes are shut against the horror of it! So we keep missing.

  • avatar

    It’s an interesting gesture, but the price difference is definitely an issue. If I owned an affected model, I’m 99% sure I’d keep it.

    It just dawned on me while reading this story that the goal here is not to actually poach drivers from the VW scandal — it’s simply a marketing ploy designed to make them look like good guys. Ditto the Hyundai offering. I doubt any thought went into either plan about market compatibility with VW TDI drivers. Just, “put this out there, it’ll make us look generous and welcoming”. It’s just PR shtick.

  • avatar
    pb35

    My TDI driving friend is looking for the replacement for her Jetta once VW buys it back. She’s looking at either a Lexus or Mercedes to replace it. Volvo isn’t even on her radar.

  • avatar
    tylanner

    I submit you cannot compete with Volkswagen. Nobody offers the combination of features around which many of the VW products have formed.

    You can only decry their reliability with the true cost of ownership metric. You’d have to denounce a good number of industry accolades in the process but this scandal and some reliability numbers make that a pretty easy sell.

    People always want a good deal…but do you feel lucky? The default answer to that questions can be found in sales figures.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    My only Volvo experience was an 850 that was comically bad. I wonder if the new ones are any better?

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