Volvo to trim 30-percent of U.S. dealers by the end of next year

Volvo hasn't been doing too hot lately, posting a $1.73 billion loss over the past five years as it flails to find its niche. Sales of almost every Volvo product have declined in 2007, with the S60 falling by 28.1 percent, the XC90 dropping 5.6 percent and the V70 station wagon losing 7.7 percent. For June of 2008, Volvo only moved 7,001 vehicles, down 14.2 percent compared to last year. Something has to be done on the retail side, and according to Automotive News, dealers are on their way out.

The automaker is looking to cut out approximately 30 percent of its U.S. dealer network by the close of next year, however, Volvo retailers won't be cut in Europe, nor Russia, where Volvo is a leader in premium vehicle sales.

Volvo recognizes that part of its problem is fuel efficiency, so it's focusing on producing smaller vehicles and pushing its C30 hatch hard in the States. A hybrid version of the XC60 is in the works, but that won't be out for at least another three years... in Germany, and as a stopgap, Volvo plans to implement start-stop technology on its smaller engines.

[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req.]

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