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Posts Tagged ‘Volvo Cars’

Volvo’s Care Subscription Program Key to Growth Plans

VCNA chief acknowledges reliability concerns but says problems, warranty costs, are tumbling.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.08, 2018

Volvo Cars North America CEO Anders Gustafsson with images of some of the first workers at the automaker's new Charleston plant.

U.S. new vehicle sales are on course to post their second consecutive decline as 2018 draws to a close, but you’d have a hard time telling that if you were just looking at Volvo’s numbers.

The Swedish automaker has posted a 27% jump in demand through the end of October and, with more products ready to land in U.S. showrooms, Volvo Cars USA CEO Anders Gustafsson said Thursday he is optimistic the company can keep its momentum growing.


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Several factors could give meaning to his forecast, including not just the launch of the new Volvo S60, but the start of production at the Chinese-owned automaker’s first U.S. assembly plant in Charleston, South Carolina. Then there’s Care by Volvo, the subscription program the carmaker launched late last year.


Volvo May Begin Importing Cars from China in 2015

S60L would target the U.S., while XC90 would be shipped to Russia.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jun.17, 2014

Volvo recently unveiled a plug-in hybrid verson of the S60L at the 2014 Beijing Auto Show.

Volvo may soon become the first major automaker to start selling Chinese-made cars in the United States.

Now owned by Chinese domestic automaker Geely, Volvo is determined to reverse several years of slumping sales, even as it ramps up production at a new factory in Geely’s home town of Chengdu. The Swedish brand is in the midst of rolling out an assortment of new products and, according to a Reuters report, could begin shipping a long-wheelbase version of its S60 sedan to the U.S. by late 2015.

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Senior Geely and Volvo officials had hinted of their interest in exporting to the U.S. during a visit by to the new Volvo Chengdu plant in 2013, but at the time they had not set a hard date on such plans.


Volvo S60 R-Design Bucks Classic – if Boring –Image

Niche car could broaden Swedish maker’s global appeal.

by Joseph Szczesny on Aug.18, 2011

Volvo's S60 R-Design features the maker's most powerful production engine ever.

The new Volvo S60 R-Design isn’t for everyone.  In fact, with anticipated sales of less than 1,500 vehicles, the new model will barely show up on the sales charts.  Nonetheless, the Swedish maker is betting the most powerful model it has ever put on the street will surprise those who still think of Volvo as building nothing but safe, boxy and boring automobiles.

“The S60 R-Design is the next step for Volvo,” insists Frank Vacca, who serves as brand manager for the overall S60 line-up.

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With its 325 horsepower inline-six, Volvo is targeting the R-Design at buyers who’ve traditionally ignored its products in favor of more performance-oriented brands like Audi and BMW.  If the company is right, the new model could begin to re-position Volvo as a more serious player in the global luxury market – and build demand for the company’s more mainstream products, as well.


Volvo Planning $10 bil Investment

Swedish maker focusing on China as it sets out to double sales by 2020.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Feb.28, 2011

Volvo CEO Stefan Jacoby wants to double sales.

China will play a key role in the planned doubling of global sales for Volvo Cars, the maker’s top executives revealed, as they outlined an ambitious plan to invest at least $10 billion in the company’s future.

That strategy will require a hefty investment by its new parent, China’s Geely Holding Group, said Geely CEO Li Shufu, though he stressed the two firms will continue to operate as “completely independent automaker(s).”

But increasingly, industry observers stress, the future of Volvo and Geely will become inextricably linked.

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“We plan to invest $10 to $11 billion over the next five years globally,” Volvo CEO Stefan Jacoby told the Associated Press.  That money will go towards not only a new assembly plant in China, but also help the maker develop a critical new platform and a new line of powertrains – both of which would be shared among a variety of future Volvo products.


Safety Isn’t Good Enough Anymore, Says Volvo CEO

New products, new owner – and a critical new Chinese market.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Sep.27, 2010

Volvo "owns" safety, says VCNA CEO Doug Speck, with technology like the new Pedestrian Protection system. But that's not good enough, he adds.

Few automotive manufacturers have a more clear-cut image than Volvo.  Say, “safety,” and the brand immediately comes to mind.  But in an era when most automakers promise safe products, can Volvo fight back by broadening its own brand image?

That’s what the maker is hoping to do with products like the 2011 S60, a surprisingly stylish and sporty new sedan that also will be the last model Volvo fully develops under its former owner, Ford Motor Co.  Going forward, Volvo will be the Western face of new owner Zhejiang Geely, the ambitious Chinese holding company that hopes to become one of the world’s leading automotive manufacturers.

“This business is too competitive.  You can’t be good at just one thing,” concedes Volvo Cars North America CEO Doug Speck.  “We own safety,” he contends, “but in addition to that we’ll add cool design and fun-to-drive.”



It will take a number of years for Volvo to revise its image, Speck acknowledges, and the S60 will be the first step in that process.  The sedan targets the largest segment in the luxury car market – and its absence from the maker’s line-up, over the last year, was a major reason why Volvo sales slid 12% for the calendar-year-to-date, even as the rest of the industry began a slow recovery, Speck argues.


Milestones: Volvo Cars’ Crash-Test Laboratory

Replicating road accidents contributes to crash safety research.

by Ken Zino on May.13, 2010

The lab's crash block weighs 850 tons.

Volvo Cars’ crash-test laboratory in Torslanda is ten years old this year. When the new safety center was inaugurated by Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf in early 2000, it was one of the most advanced in the car industry – arguably a position it retains due to the continuous upgrading of equipment and test methods. During this period almost 3,000 full-scale tests that have been carried out.

The crash-test laboratory has one fixed and one movable test track. The movable track can be adjusted from zero to 90 degrees. This allows tests of various incident and accident scenarios, from frontal impacts to side impacts, between two moving cars approaching at different angles and speeds. In addition, avoidance and mitigation of collisions can also be tested. The facility currently can conduct more than 400 full-scale tests a year.

“We can replicate most of the incident and accident scenarios that take place out on the roads. By analyzing these and then testing new safety technology in the crash-test laboratory, we can improve the safety level in our cars so that they become even safer in real-life traffic conditions,” says Thomas Broberg, Senior Safety Advisor at Volvo Cars.

The two tracks meet above a six-meter deep, Plexiglas-covered pit used for filming the collision tests from underneath. Over the years, the Plexiglas shield has witnessed a number of remarkable crash tests.


Ford Confirms Geely as Bidder for Volvo Cars

Finally a confirmation of ongoing negotiations.

by Ken Zino on Oct.28, 2009

Chinese Volvos?

Chinese Hummers and now Chinese Volvos?

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) announced today that a consortium led by Zhejiang Geely Group Holding Co. Ltd. is its preferred bidder in the ongoing discussions concerning the possible sale of Volvo Car Corporation.

The confirmation comes after almost a year of press speculation that Chinese companies were interested in the loss making Swedish brand.

Ford said that while it will be engaging in more detailed and focused negotiations with Geely, no final decisions have been made.



“Ford’s objective in our discussions with Geely is to secure an agreement that is in the best interests of all the parties,” said Lewis Booth, Ford Motor Company executive vice president and chief financial officer.