Geely boss Li Shufu wants to take Volvo upscale and compete against Audi, Bmw

Article by Christian Andrei, on September 6, 2011

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group’s Chairman Li Shufu, in spite of everything, may be taking Volvo Car Corp. upscale. Last year, shortly after acquiring Volvo, the Geely boss had a dispute with the management of the automaker regarding the brand’s proper image.

Li wanted the Swedish brand to rival the premium vehicle market’s leaders, which include BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi. However, Li admitted on November that the managers of Volvo in Sweden had sufficient reason to oppose. Currently, there are signs that Li has his way. For one, Volvo revealed its new international brand tagline "Designed Around You" last week.

While executives at Volvo continue to emphasize product safety, there was a new message also, says Autonews. According to Volvo's international marketing boss Richard Monturo, the new marketing strategy sums up their approach to understanding people, providing them with a “luxury experience that is a little more human-oriented..."

He sounded vague regarding the phrase "luxury experience" though. On the other hand, the speech of Volvo Senior Vice President Freeman Shen was clear regarding the direction of the company.

Specifically, he mentioned that one of the company’s five targets by 2020 is to become a top-tier luxury brand worldwide. He further stated that the company will offer products that meet the comprehensive needs of their customers, become a best employer internationally, boost sales to 800,000 units annually and obtain above-industry-average investment returns.

The company has a long way to go before it could challenge BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi. In China, the company’s sales are relatively low. During the first seven months, the company sold 21,718 vehicles, only one-seventh as many as Audi. In addition, Volvo does not have a flagship model to rival the Mercedes S class or the BMW 7 series.

Topics: geely, audi, bmw

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