Volvo expects US sales to surge in second half of 2014

Article by Andrew Christian, on June 23, 2014

Volvo expects to stop its sales slump in the United States in the second half of the year as the carmaker roll out new four- and six-cylinder engines as well as connectivity features, according to Tony Nicolosi, chief executive of Volvo Cars of North America.

Hakan Samuelsson, CEO of Volvo Car Corp., remarked that it is “troublesome” that the carmaker’s sales in the US failed to match the growth of the market.

Volvo saw its sales drop 10 percent in the first five months to 23,347 units in a US market that surged 5 percent. Samuelsson quipped that said Volvo has committed a "considerable increase" in marketing to boost sales in the US.

To build awareness of the brand and its new features, Volvo is slated to have new TV commercials aired in July. Samuelsson remarked that Volvo has yet to make a final decision on whether it would sell a long-wheelbase version of the S60 sedan – the S60L -- in the US.

According to recent news reports, Volvo is planning to export the China-built S60L to the US and Russia as early as 2015. Samuelsson remarked that Volvo would get cars from China due to currency advantages and low cost of labor in the country.

According to Samuelsson, one of Volvo’s hindrances is that new vehicles wont’ be rolled out until the redesigned XC90 crossover arrives in the US in the first quarter of 2015. He remarked that Volvo needs to invest more in media communication and tell customers that they are committed to revitalizing the brand.

He disclosed that the carmaker’s new marketing message says: "we deliver a premium car but designed around you." He said that this means not just packaging technologies to have a lot of gadgets in the car, noting that what is important is to deliver smart functionality and connectivity.

Nicolosi says that the new engines made their debut this month in MY2015 vehicles and feature stop-start and remote start technologies. He added that new navigation systems could be availed on almost every model.

For the MY2015 vehicles, the On Call feature will now come as standard, providing information like the car's location and needed repairs through one’s smartphone. [source: automotive news - sub. required]

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