The uncertainty that surrounds the future of Volvo has been a distraction, admitted Volvo CEO Stephen Odell who nevertheless said that his chief role is to develop a plan to bring back Volvo to a place of "sustainable profitability" that would include, among other things, underscoring design features and fuel economy in its marketing strategies. This is an obvious departure from the traditional Volvo marketing emphasis on safety.
A meeting with a Swedish delegation last Monday during the Detroit Auto Show transpired between Odell, together with Ford CEO Lewis Booth, presumably to discuss the future of the ailing company.
Although selling of the Volvo is not out of the question, Ford said, but serious buyers are just not available at this time.
Sales dropped by 16.45% from 448,000 units sold in 2007 to only 374,296 in 2008. Volvo is the only brand left in the Premier Automotive Group of Ford, which in the past included such names as Aston Martin, Land Rover, Jaguar and Lincoln.
Of course, Aston Martin was sold into private ownership in 2007, Jaguar Land Rover was bought by Tata Motors last summer and Lincoln was recalled and is under direct Ford control since 2002.
Odell just took over Volvo last year and is optimistic about the whole prospect of Volvo's "zero negative equity" which he said he would, along with creating the right products and the right communication, capitalize to bring the company to a better future.