Volvo V50

Volvo wants to increase the number of units it sells each year in the U.S. So, it's going to... um... cut the number of models it offers? It may seem a little bass-ackwards to those of us without a business degree, but that's apparently the plan.

Says Doug Speck, head of Volvo's operations in the U.S., "Five or six [models] is probably a good number... We have to focus on the key segments with significant volume potential." At present, Volvo offers nine distinct nameplates, which means at least three have an appointment with a strange-looking man who wears a hooded black cape and carries a sickle.

According to Speck, the first model that will lose its lease on life is the V50 wagon. Others will follow, but not until Volvo's dealer network is informed of their funeral proceedings. If we were betting men, we'd wager the C30, C70 and XC70 would be the first to get the axe, but we'll know for sure soon enough.

The idea is to focus consumers' limited attention spans and what little marketing budget the automaker has available on its core models: the S60 sedan along with the XC60 and XC90 crossovers. Volvo is counting on its revised strategy to post double-digit sales increases in 2011 after six straight years of declining figures.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req'd]