• Oct 18, 2010
2010 Volvo C30 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Volvo CEO Stefan Jacoby wants to move 800,000 vehicles across the globe per year by 2020, which would more than double last year's sales tally of 350,000 and signal a reversal of sales declines. Jacoby expects about 250,000 of those additional sales to come from its integration into the Chinese market, but the remaining difference will be made up by entering new segments, sharpening the brand's focus and becoming a true luxury brand, not just premium.

It shouldn't be any surprise that the ex-Volkswagen USA head would have in mind a Golf-sized five-door hatch for arrival in 2012. He didn't indicate what platform such a model would be built on, but the C30 would seem like a worthy candidate. If Volvo can come with a sporty hatch and get those buyers to look at the brand as something other than soccer-mom safety, the chance is there. The straight-talking German is working on the product plan, and as for raising the brand cachet he said, "We need to focus on luxury. I don't believe in the word 'premium.'"



[Source: eGM Car Tech]


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  • 23 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I have a 2011 c30. Awesome car, gets more compliments than I could have imagined as well.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "We need to focus on luxury. I don't believe in the word 'premium.'"

      Actually, what needs to be focused on is your audience. The thing is, Volvo as a brand will not beat the Germans in image , nor the Japanese in the reliability aspects. Safety is almost but a given these days, so that edge is gone too. Feature content alone isn't enough of a distinguishment anymore, what with even Corollas offering leather.

      So what's left? ... design, in which beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so there's no guarantee there as long as it's not fugly. And the big aspect that has kept so many older Volvos on the road - durability and serviceability. Make the car tough - a 5 mph bump on the bumper shouldn't cause several thousands of dollars in damage (IIHS/S60 full frontal). Make it DIY and shop-labor friendly, lowering ongoing maintenance costs so it'd be as affordable as mainstream cars to keep on the road. It's not something that'd change overnight, but without having a significant aspect stand out against the competitors, the audience that'd consider a Volvo is going to continue to dwindle.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Offer three engines - the DRIVe 1.6 diesel, and gassers like the 2.0 (145hp), T5 (230hp).
      A little something for everyone!
      • 4 Years Ago
      This makes sense. Volvo haven't had a 5-door hatch on the market since the days of the 440 series and while it didn't set the world alight, it did sell in decent numbers.
      • 4 Years Ago
      add the 5t with 300+ hp, torque vectoring haldex 4 and i'm in. Sadly this just a gimmick to put lipstick on a pig.
        • 4 Years Ago
        How is adding two doors and even more practicality a gimmick?

        You don't make sense.
        • 4 Years Ago
        because performance and luxury are not mutually exclusive. just ask audi, BMW, Merc, etc etc....

        the OP just speaks what everyone else is thinking. watered down "R-Designs" are a joke. The above pictured car would be bad a$$ if it had the 300hp R motor thrown in it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Before I got my Golf TDI, the C30 was a top contender but it only had 3 doors. I was looking for 5 for ease of access to the back.

      If they get a 5 door C30 (C50 maybe?) I would look at that when the time came for a new car in the family.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's an inevitable and utterly sensible move. With the S40 fading away, Volvo needs a full entry range below the S60. Expanding the C30 with a 5-door hatch (and eventually an XC30 that would go up against the BMW X1 and Mini Countryman) is pretty much essential for Volvo's survival, especially in Europe.

      Volvo's mistake, imho, has been pushing styling over practicality--just take a look at the S60. With the return of Peter Horbury I hope the pendulum will swing back the other way. Imagine a lineup of taller, prouder, more spacious Volvos. The expanded C30 line could set a template for a more practical S60/XC60.

      The big challenge will then be the S80 (which in no way meets the premium standards of its class) and the big XC70/XC90, which live in the roomy wagon segment that Volvo once defined but which have been eclipsed by many rivals. I wouldn't be surprised to see Volvo bail out of the big sedan market entirely, so it can focus more on B, C, and D-class hatches, wagons, CUVs, and MPVs. If Volvo pushes the Scandinavian design theme (and manages major penetration into the Chinese market under new ownership), it could experience a solid revival.
      • 4 Years Ago
      At least market it better than the C30.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I have to say I much preferred Volvo's strategy from the old days:
      - 760 - Sedan and Wagon, decent engine, good luxury appointments, Sacandanavian minimalist design and ergonomics. Lower price than German/British luxury makers.
      - 740 - Sedan and Wagon, base engines, same basic design with less expensive appointments, but still had great seats. Could option up on most items if desired. Great price, basically bridging the non-luxury and luxury segments.
      - 780 - low volume luxury and performance special editions. Power, appointments, and prices basically on par with German and British luxury rivals (though handling and performance never really matched up in those days).

      I think Volvo would stand a really good chance at grabbing the in-between market if they grounded their offerings with more affordable base models. I guess they'll probably never be as cheap as the Japanese cars though...
        • 4 Years Ago
        I agree. Volvo needs to stop trying to be a luxury brand and return to the practical, affordable, dependable cars it once was. Stop competing with BMW, Audi and Mercedes...ya never gonna be that! Just be Volvo and maybe you'll get the customers you once had.
      • 4 Years Ago
      That first image makes it look like it has massive rear arches.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Can't come soon enough! If we aren't getting the V60 in the States at least they can bring this to compete with the A3.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Someone should remind Mr. Jacoby that is he isn't with VW any longer, therefore the proclamations of world dominance are no longer necessary.
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