For years, Volvo has been pushing harder and harder to attract buyers of rival luxury automakers like BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz by slowly ditching its stodgy, safe and reliable reputation in favor of a more premium, upmarket marketing position. Now that money around the world is getting tighter, even those who can afford to shop in the fancy European section may be looking for a good deal.
Volvo's Chief Operating Officer Stephen Armstrong believes Volvo's lack of flashiness makes it more "socially acceptable" and might be perfect for today's market, saying, "We have a real opportunity for Volvo with respect to premium positioning. As people cut back, it becomes a little less acceptable to flaunt your money."
That's all fine and dandy, but the fact remains that Volvo is currently faring at least as poorly as its competitors in these times of financial uncertainty. We'll just have to wait and see how the introduction of the new XC60, along with the presence of possible Chinese bidders for the brand, changes things over the next few months.