Volvo plans to expand US lineup, raise margins and boost marketing

Article by Anita Panait, on March 12, 2013

Volvo says it will provide support to its struggling dealers in the United States by fortifying its vehicle lineup, increasing margins and raising marketing spending. Doug Speck, global head of marketing, sales and customer service, said at the Geneva auto show that Volvo will decide next quarter whether to reverse a decision not to bring the V60 station wagon to the US.

If the decision is to bring the V60 to the US, the vehicle could arrive in the country within a year. Volvo Cars of North America had decided not to roll out the V60, a replacement for the V50, due to dropping wagon sales in the US.

Now that Volvo’s dealers only have four models to sell in the US, they are now saying that they need the V60 in their showrooms.

Speck revealed that Volvo is working with parent company Zhejiang Geely Holding on a small-car platform. The car is expected to target entry-level models from Mercedes-Benz and BMW, but it may not arrive on the market for several years.

With no new models to roll out for at least two years, Volvo is refreshing its four 2014 models that it plans to market in the US.

At the Geneva Auto Show, Volvo unveiled refreshed exteriors and interiors for the S60 compact sedan, XC60 crossover, S80 sedan and XC70 wagon. The vehicles will be available starting in June 2013. According to Speck, over 4,000 changes were made to the four models.

Changes on the models are part of the carmaker’s effort to get back on track in the US. Volvo failed to achieve its target sales in the US in 2012, posting only a one-percent jump in sales to 68,117 vehicles, whereas the market gained 13 percent. Volvo is expecting to post a five-percent jump in 2013.

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