• Jul 31st 2006 at 5:01PM
  • 18


In Ford's Premier Auto Group (PAG) one manufacturer has stood alone, sustaining a high degree of prosperity in the past. However, in the last two years, Volvo has seen a decline in its new vehicle sales and judging by figures from the first half of 2006, those numbers seem to be dwindling even more.

As far as dollars and cents are concerned, PAG condenses all of its manufacturers' earnings into one lump, so the ability to parse out who is losing what is a task reserved for only the geekiest of accounting wizards. What we do know is that PAG, as a whole, had broken even last year, while the second quarter of 2006 shows a loss of $162 million. Not massive, but worrisome.

Analysts are pointing to a number of factors leading to Volvo's decline and at the forefront of those issues is an aging product line. Thankfully, Volvo is addressing this issue head-on, granting the S80 with a thoughtful redesign, as well as bringing the new C70 into the marketplace. The entrance of the C30 hatchback, which fills a niche previously untouched by the Swedish manufacturer, may give Volvo the added boost it needs, especially if it is well received here in the States in 2008.

[Source: Automotive News - sub required]


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  • 18 Comments
      • 9 Years Ago
      I am also very disappointed in Ford for destroying Volvo.

      While I hear demand for the new C70 is high, Volvo really doesn't have anything else going for it. The popular XC90's replacement won't be out for several more years, and the new S80 is a total disappointment and far too late as far as I'm concerned.

      While I think the new C30 is nothing short of beautiful, especially with the 4 bucket seats, I really don't see it being a big hit stateside.

      Back to the drawing board, Volvo! Sad.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Another great marque destroyed by Ford's cynical and short-sighted marketing machine.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Maybe Volvo should go retro and bring back the 240 series?
      • 9 Years Ago
      #7: "how about some inovation, style, substance, creativity ???"
      How about pulling your head out of the sand for a change? Can you tell me when Volvo has been known for its innovation, style, substance or creativity? Theve built cars with better 90 degree angles than T squares. Uninspiring boxes, to say the least.

      With that historical perspective in mind, I find that Volvo's current lineup is actually half decent. True, Volvo's may not demand as much attention as Cadillacs or BMWs, but thats how the Volvo clientele likes it. Rappers dont buy Volvos. Simple, upwardly mobile individuals who like simple, elegant vehicles buy Volvo's. Thats just how its customer base is. Within these parameters, Volvo has done a great job with the S40/60/80. And while I may not entirely agree with parts of Volvo's design language (the extensively raked rear on the C30 or the shoulders on the sedans) they are nonetheless a marked improvement over previous Volvos.

      With this in mind, Volvo should attempt to diversify is lineup by including more, sporty vehicles to try to change its image as being a staid and dull car maker, a la Lincoln. Bringing in the S40R would be a good step forward.

      And a quick question:
      Will Volvo North America offer the C30 with the 2.5L 5 cylinder in the S40 T5 (same mill offered in the Ford Focus ST)? That would both, satiate Focus ST buyers, and bring a level of sportiness to the Volvo lineup?
      • 9 Years Ago
      That Swedish hatchback will have little traction Stateside. The new S80 looks a bit too much like the old S80 for anyone but the Volvo-isti to know the difference. The V50 has suffered due to quality problems and the V70 looks like an ugly boat. Frankly, the only attractive Volvo is the S40 and C70.

      http://www.automobilesdeluxe.blogspot.com
      • 9 Years Ago
      Volvo's underlying problem isn't a lack of fresh product -- it's that the brand no longer stands for much. I disagree that diversification will help. To the contrary.

      Why on earth did Ford go on a buying spree if its new brands are going to compete with each other? Volvo needs to stay out of Jaguar's and Mazda's territory. Like it or not, that means offering products that are a bit more "staid."

      Heck, there's a market for that -- as long as Volvo delivers superior engineering, quality of manufacture, and reliability. If it can't do that, then it will have to fall back on the crack cocaine of rapid restylings.
      • 9 Years Ago
      well since there part of the ford family they have no clue as to why sales are declining, well let me tell ya volvo its cause your whole product line is identical, not similar but identical !!!!!!!
      from 150 feet away i cannot tell the difference between the 80 60 40 front or rear.... and now we wait 6 years for a new s80 and guess what its freaking identical to the one that came out years ago ! get a clue !!!! the s-40 looked old when it came out cause it looked identical to the 4 year old s-80, and gee the s-60 is so different from the s-80 (not) !!! it actually looked identical to the 2 year old s80 when the s60 came out ! how about some inovation, style, substance, creativity ???
      • 9 Years Ago
      My wife has a 2006 Volvo S40 AWD and we both love it. I will buy the new S80 for myself but want the diesel model which Volvo has not yet committed to USA market.Does anyone know if Volvo will offer the diesel in 2007?
      • 9 Years Ago
      Given how bland and boring Volvo's current range is, I'm not surprised. They're bland to look at and even more bland to drive. They need to make their cars look as though they're entertaining to drive and then back that up with lithe, agile dynamics. Mazda and BMW are prime examples of manufacturers that are currently doing this, and are reaping the sales benefits.

      If anyone can make Volvos involving and dynamic though, it's Ford. Should this be the case, making perception catch up to reality will be yet another challenge entirely.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I agree, that what Volvo needs to do to keep the interest of the next generation of Volvo buyers is not just the C30 but as mentioned an S40R/V50R. With the engine of the t-5 S40/V50 in the Euro Focus ST, how is driving a Volvo t-5 anything great when you can get it in a Ford. Yes I know it's a C-1 platform car, but Mazda didn't slap the t-5 in the Mazdaspeed3. Volvo already has the majority of the development and production work done with the S60R/V70R, so why not just lay it all in the S40/V50. I considered the V50 when looking for an awd manual tranny wagon, but the t-5 power just didn't impress, if it was 300HP from the S60R/V70R in there, I would of been happy to pay 35-37K for that, instead I got a much better bang for the buck in an '05 Legacy GT Wagon. (too bad Subaru doesn't offer a manual tranny in it anymore).
      • 9 Years Ago
      The problem with Volvo is not a weak dollar it's their line-up!

      S80, S60 are out dated. They need more than a tweak. Their becoming like Saab. Two Swedish who need more than a facelift. Hmmm could it be that their parents haven't any money???

      Volvo C70 will only help them gain very marginal in sales. It's a coupe!!! Coupes do not sell like hot cakes. Especially ones that start off around 38K and climb into the 40's!

      • 8 Years Ago
      the volvo designs have come along way from what they were.I think the new ones are sweet and volvo always had a history of doing their own thing, you know subdued elegance. A lot of the safety features in all the cars out there owe their begining to volvo and if Iam going to be in an accident I would rather be in a volvo than anything else.
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