Volvo Cars is launching a broad strategy that targets a revival of the brand in the United States following a decade of slumping demand. Volvo Cars has already shared the strategy with US dealers, saying that it includes new vehicles, new powertrains and more leasing as well as fresh marketing under a new global ad agency.
The strategy will initially center on the redesigned XC90 crossover that was launched in 2012 -- considered as the heart of a five-year $11 billion investment in new products and plants. Chief executive Hakan Samuelsson is touting the changes as part of a bid to restore Volvo's heritage while positioning it as a "unique premium brand" that rivals German luxury marques.
Just over a year since he was tapped by Volvo's Chinese parent Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, Samuelsson appointed Volvo North America veteran Tony Nicolosi to lead the carmaker's US operations while remaining as head of Volvo Financial Services.
According to Samuelsson, the pillars of the new Volvo will be an attractive "Scandinavian" design, safety and environmental leadership, and "clever functionality" as reflected in state of the art yet simple infotainment systems. Volvo is targeting to hike its global volume from an expected 450,000 units per year to around 800,000 annually before the end of the decade.
During the period, Volvo expects China to surpass the United States as its largest market, with annual volume of 200,000 units. Some Volvo units built in China may be shipped to the US. During a roundtable discussion with journalists, Volvo executives wouldn't commit to a specific sales goal beyond 100,000 in the next three years in the US. They, however, expect to re-achieve the US peak sales in 2004 at 139,000 units.