Word has it that Volvo is once again aiming for top-tier status. Automotive News China is reporting that the Swedish automaker has outlined a slew of new goals that include hitting annual sales of around 800,000 units, becoming the best employer worldwide and doing battle with the likes of BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. If that's not ambitious enough for you, the brand wants to make it all happen by 2020. The news came courtesy of Freeman Shen, Volvo senior vice president, who made the comments in a speech about the company's future.

Volvo has adopted the new global brand tag line, "Designed Around You," as a step toward its ambitious targets. As Automotive News China points out, the company has some serious ground to cover. For starters, its current line lacks a legitimate flagship to compete with the BMW 7 Series or the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Even so, sales in China are now favoring the XC60 SUV and S80 instead of the smaller S40; a sign that the brand is already inching its way up the food chain in that country.


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  • 36 Comments
      Xedicon
      • 3 Years Ago
      V70R! Make another V70R!
      BG
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ford tried that upmarket marketing move, too, in the early 2000s, and you see how ineptly that turned out. First of all, Volvo NA customer service was rotten, especially to customers whose cars were out of warranty. They will have to upgrade their entire corporate philosophy if they want to compete with the true luxury brands.
      Alex740
      • 3 Years Ago
      They have a good base to start from so it's possible, the interiors are very high quality now, the reliability ratings have been very high lately and they are still a leaders in safety tech. Driving dynamics need work though, no question about that. If they are going to go upmarket though they need to lead their own path and not just copy the germans, seems to me that a good start would be to go the opposite direction of BMW & Audi by offering very high quality cars with Scandinavian design simplicity rather than confusing menu screens and tons of buttons, much like an Apple product, clean design and simple to use. Also seems very important that they don't alienate former owners and perhaps the only way to do that is to offer a full line of small models and stripped down versions of their bread and butter models like the S60 and XC60 with basic features like heated seats and bluetooth but no nav or sunroof to keep entry prices low. Allow customers to get Volvo safety and reliability at a fair price, seems like that's always been their draw.
      Carman
      • 3 Years Ago
      I've owned a 240 GL and currently have 745 turbo wagon both cars I love very much. Volvo is a state where they can't be taken too seriously from a high end stand point. Their designs aren't that great and performance is... well in a league with others. If you want a Top-Tier slot, you have to design with a great deal of thought.
      Compliance
      • 3 Years Ago
      They must have had some very mixed up priorities of those weren't their goals all along. Always makes me wonder what they thought they were doing, just farting around?
      MechE
      • 3 Years Ago
      Amazing how a NJ tag can ugify the front of a car. haha, sorry couldnt help myself.
      Hampton
      • 3 Years Ago
      They're making the same mistake GM made with SAAB. Trying to compete with Mercedes and BMW and losing their own identity /appeal in the process. SAAB tried to be a fancy high end luxury car on a GM platform and in so doing lost their identity. SAAB SHOULD HAVE REMAINED a sport utility sports car and undercut the price of BMW and M-B.
        NissanGTR
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Hampton
        GM tends to ruin brands and run them to extinction.
          Hampton
          • 3 Years Ago
          @NissanGTR
          May I add to Your comment by highlighting the dangerous dynamic Ford has found itself in lately? That is ...having UAW workers ,who own GM,striking and frustrating Ford's operations. Ford has the competition working in their factories to bring them down.
      Andrew
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't see how with cars like the c30 they hurt the image of the brandy they really ned a s class compeditor to be a top dog w
        jessesrq
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Andrew
        I don't see an S-Class level car saving Volvo. In the US market buyers already have amazing and established luxury choices from MB, BMW, Audi, Porsche, and Jaguar. In China, a platform that large is too big for urban streets. I think Volvo needs to get back to its roots with solid mid size sedans and wagons, amp up the Scandinavian design influence, and - here's the big one - seriously improve fuel economy across the line.
          fabarati
          • 3 Years Ago
          @jessesrq
          I would like to point out that Audii in the 80s and 90s weren't really an established luxury choice. They got more credible in the late 90s, but it wasn't until the b7 that the A4 was seen as a proper competitor to the 3-series.
          hmmwv
          • 3 Years Ago
          @jessesrq
          Not true, the Chinese market loves everything long wheel based.
        Drew
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Andrew
        The C30 hurts the image of Volvo? Hardly anyone even knows what a C30 is, you dolt.
          Drew
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Drew
          Sharing the same platform is a far cry from being re-badged. Nice troll attempt.
          Andrew
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Drew
          Im sorry you are upset with me nut the thing is if you wanna bark with the top dogs you can't share with your parent company. Lexus learned with the lfa. A Volvo focus hurts the brand. I don't live under a bridge I have a house so I am no so called troll.
      Hazdaz
      • 3 Years Ago
      And in other news, no one gives a crap about what Volvo's FUTURE plans are until we see actual results. If you guys are NOW planning on going high-end, then fine, go high-end, but your current product line, nor image is in the same ranks are other high-end automakers. I am not saying that its bad, but rather that I am sick of hearing that this company is going after the high-end, or that company is moving down... its all just meaningless marketing until its backed-up by real honest-to-goodness product that can support the move up or the slide down.
      jstevens74
      • 3 Years Ago
      seriously go test drive the S60 T6 awd. I would take that over the 3 series bmw, audi a4 or c300 4matic any day.
        Dvanos
        • 3 Years Ago
        @jstevens74
        Please. It's good but not that good. It's not even close to the driving experience of a BMW 335i.
        ravenosa
        • 3 Years Ago
        @jstevens74
        "AWD" on a Volvo isn't "AWD". I wouldn't take the S60 over a nicely configured Accord. Volvo's driving dynamics are too squishy, can't stand the exteriors, and the interiors aren't any better... I thought Volvo was finally going to stop trying to compete with luxury brands...
      Kevin Gregerson
      • 3 Years Ago
      Volvo's previous s60 was a great design. I've driven some of the newer ones and the driving experience is eh. The S40 needs to be updated with the s60 features like dual air control and have a bluetooth that actually functions well. The new volvo/ford focus I forget the name is actually a good car if you get the uptrim model with bigger wheels and low profile tires. If you get the lower one it loses all it's love, fun and truthfully at that point I'd rather get a loaded focus. The new s60 feels downright sloppy when deep into a curve compared to the old one. I'm not sure if its body flex or bad suspension tire combo. Volvo NA customer service is getting better but still needs improvement. They need to make sure that all the dealers are authorized tire dealers and warranty the tires like tire shops do. I don't care if I'm paying a 20-30 percent markup as long as I get service.
      Snark McGee
      • 3 Years Ago
      BMW and Audi are top-tier?
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