• Mar 26, 2009
Click above for a high-res image gallery of the 2010 Volvo XC60

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.



[Source: Automotive News]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 23 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I noticed just today that I see a lot of Volvos through my day, but the only ones I ever care to notice normally are C30's, which are extremely rare. People ARE buying these cars, and they ARE boring. It may sound stupid, but the man has some strong circumstantial evidence to back him up.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well, considering they (Ford ownership) took Volvo upmarket (in terms of price) but the image never really followed, I don't really think this market is going to do them any favors. Selling slightly better versions of what are essentially Mazdas (S40) and Fords (S80 platform) doesn't work when you price them so far away. The brand, at best, should be focused at the entry level luxury category, rather than the mercedes/bmw/audi/lexus fighting situation they've found themselves in.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I shouldn't be saying this, but it should be okay, since I am Asian: I guess we'll be calling it Wol-woh soon.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I agree with half of what he's saying. Should Volvos be flashy and trendy? HELL NO. but should they be eye-catching and appealing. HELL YES. this is essential for Volvo. It's a tough niche to create... being fun AND classy but it can be done... especially in the US since Alfa Romeo's not here. The only way Volvo can be mentioned in the same breath as BMW/MB/Audi is if it's seen as the more stylish AND more classty alternative. Basically, it should be more youthful than a Jaguar, yet more classy than an Alfa and the R versions should have the power of a BMW. add all these things together, and you should have a car as nice as a Mercedes!

      So, basically, if Volvo can make their designs timeless AND interesting then i see a future for it
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's an interesting argument, but what about SAAB (in the same light)?
      Autoblog, it's "currently FARING", not "fairing".
        • 5 Years Ago
        @EU_Reader:

        Hate culture? Because the American's are responsible for world wars I and II, or the colonization of two continents (English and Spanish) right?

        Get your head out of your ass. You come off more foolish than the people you’re trying to reprimand.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hey, leave us hillbilly's out of this! We didn't make this post! we don't even have computers or internet connections! (This post is just a figment of your imagination) .

        Sincerly,
        HADL (Hillbilly Anti-Defamation League)

        :-)
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Superman211

        I hope it's meant as a 'joke'? You're not a caveman, right? Or maybe 12? If you're not, try to respond like a normal person.

        I'm not gay, but why would ANYONE have to hide him- or herself for anything. That's just retarded and a very striking image of your hillbilly hate-culture.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well...if this strategy rings true then Toyota is set for blockbuster sales!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Look at the size of the Volvo logo and the headlights - that looks pretty flashy to me.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Mr. Armstrong needs to realise that the issue is not about flashiness but about value be it real or perceived. Volvo's claim to fame has been its safety features and reliability but as they become more widely adopted by other manufacturers, Volvo's advantage diminishes, Volvo needs to find a slice of the market to call its own like the others - BMW is the driver's car, MB has its image of solidity and luxury and Audi excels in interiors. To date, Volvo been able to carve out a niche to call and its own and comes off as a premium, luxury brand that fails to distinguish itself from the others. And it is for this reason, contrary to what Armstrong believes, that Volvo will continue to experience lagging sales.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Slice of the market called Turbo Bricks.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agreed: I feel a Volvo buyer would do very well to immediately move the brand downmarket - Volvo would do very well when competing against the likes of Honda or Toyota.
        • 5 Years Ago
        To an extent, Volvo has moved downmarket. The C30 can be had for less than $22K with the turbo 5 cylinder engine, and the S40 is price competitive with the higher end Accords and Camrys. The bigger problem is that Volvo doesn't seem particularly enthusiastic to tell anyone about it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        +1
      • 5 Years Ago
      volvo needs to get back to the basics that made it noteworthy in the 50's, 60's, 70's 80's and early 90's. having said that my 2002v70 with 150k miles has been a great
      car and has held up fantastically. but it is a barebones car with the leather and sunroof. that used to be a luxury volvo. volvo needs to stop charging for heated seats they should give them away in the base model just like the $17k bare bones
      jetta that i just purchased. this jetta is what the old 240 was and it picks up where
      the 850 left off. basic car nice value!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I could be wrong, but

      .......... "BUY US BECAUSE WE ARE BORING" ..........

      does not sound like a winning ad slogan to me.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Understated is nice, but not driving-wise. I drove my friend's s40 and I swear it was the NyQuil of automobiles. Every bit was done well but totally passionless. The numb steering, the mushy "handling", the non-responsive "acceleration" (it was an auto), the well thought out but still generic-feeling interior, etc.

        No more fun to drive than my friend's Prius. Just different. It reminded me of my Fusion rental experience but more boring...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Come on, Armstrong. Just say what you really mean: "Volvos: They're boxy, but their good!"
        • 5 Years Ago
        D'oh, I got my homonyms half right, how pathetic. Let's try that one more time:

        "Volvos: They're boxy, but they're good!"
      • 5 Years Ago
      "We're in a recession, the worst in decades, so it's a great advantage that our cars suck because rich people buy sucky looking cars to seem less flashy."

      So basically, Volvo is the crap end of the luxury scale? For rich people who DO NOT want to appear rich but rather appear broke?
    • Load More Comments