Volvo Outlines U.S. Comeback Strategy
After nearly a decade of sluggish sales, Volvo is looking to revamp its U.S. operations through rebranding, new powertrains and technologies, and redesigned products. For the first 10 months of the year, Volvo sales are down 7 percent in an industry that is advancing at an average 8 percent. In fact, Volvo's sales have dropped almost every year since the automaker's peak of 139,000 units in 2004. This year, Volvo projects it will only sell 60,000 cars in the U.S. Volvo said it plans to bring this number up to 100,000 in three years by creating a new Volvo, one that emphasizes Scandinavian simplicity, environmental responsibility, and most of all, safety. By 2020, Volvo hopes to eliminate all deaths in its cars, it said. The company will soon announce a new ad agency that will portray Volvo's new plan in global campaigns. A major overhaul in Volvo's powertrains will likely have a major effect on the company's operations. Volvo is abandoning its five-cylinder engines for three- and four-cylinder models across its entire lineup. Its product portfolio will also include a mix of diesel, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid cars. The company is currently developing new transmissions with Zhejiang Geely, its new China-based owner. Contributing to Volvo's comeback will be new products, including a redesigned XC90 that will debut with both a hybrid powertrain and sprightly V-8 version. The V60 sport wagon will also return to the U.S. after a long hiatus. These vehicles will be available for purchase, and increasingly, for lease in the U.S. Despite the new models, Volvo said it has no plans to begin manufacturing in the U.S. Currently, all vehicles sold in the U.S. are imported from Europe. Source: Automotive News
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