Just days after Geely purchased Volvo from Ford, the Chinese automaker's chairman, Li Shufu, proclaimed that the Swedish automaker needed a 7 Series fighter. Shufu's idea makes a lot of sense, at least in the large car-loving China market, where Volvo leadership wants to push a lot more metal. But when Shufu stated that Volvo needed to go big, he admitted that he needed to sell the idea to the company's new board. According to Autocar there is at least one very important vote that doesn't like the idea – at least not yet.
New Volvo CEO Stefan Jacoby reportedly called the idea of a Volvo that can go toe to toe with a Mercedes-Benz S-Class "a step too early." The British site claims that Jacoby prefers to hold off on going further upscale until after Volvo reaches its goal of 800,000 sales per year within the next five years.
So who's right here? Shufu undoubtedly knows the China market very well, and he's thinking that the key to China's collective heart comes in the form of a sedan with a lot of rear leg room. Jacoby, on the other hand, is taking a more pragmatic approach; use the company's funds to spur overall growth and then look upmarket once the company reaches its volume goals. Add in the fact that Jacoby already experienced first-hand how tough it can be to bring a new large luxury vehicle to market (Volkswagen Phaeton, anyone?), and we can see why the new Volvo CEO is preferring to play it slow.
[Source: Autocar | Image: Bjorn Larsson Rosvall/AFP/Getty]