Because Volvo’s sales have been slower than predicted, the automaker intends to reduce its auto production in Sweden to about 10% and to cut 200 to 300 jobs, according to a union official. The management had reportedly informed staff that the sluggish sales will result to a reduction in production, said Michael Blohm of the IG Metall blue collar union at Volvo's Torslanda plant in the western city of Gothenburg.
He said that the company seeks to decrease its output, from 57 cars each hour to 50 or 52. He said that this would mean that the contracts of 200 to 300 workers, who are from a recruitment company, won’t be extended. He said that the management had said that sales had fallen before the summer break.
But upon coming back, sales declined even further. He added that around 2,000 staff members work on Torslanda’s production line. He said that the plant has been shut down for four days before the annual mid-year break, which also led to the drop in production. China's Zhejiang Geely had bought Volvo from Ford Motor Co. in 2010 for $1.8 billion.
It said that it seeks to raise annual sales by 2020 to 800,000 from slightly more than 400,000 cars currently. This target includes the sales of 200,000 units in China, a huge jump from the 47,000 units reported sales in the country in 2011. Volvo has yet to comment on this report. ACEA’s figures show that Volvo car sales in the EU and EFTA countries decreased by 8% in the January-June period to 126,826 units.
According to Volvo, the new V40 is expected to set new standards in its segment when it comes to fuel efficiency, handling, and most importantly, safety. This five-door hatchback utilizes the attractive coupe design and utilizes a number of styling cues inspired by the classic P1800ES Volvo and the C30 coupé. Thus, when compared to other models in the same class, the new V40 is sleeker and more athletic.
Volvo also made sure to focus on improving the ride comfort, steering feel, agility, and handling. Thus, the engineering team is positive that when it comes to dynamic refinement, the V40 will become the yardstick for the class. That being said, the brand made sure not to neglect its leadership status when it comes to safety. When the brand released the S60, it came fitted with the Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake, the first in the world.
This time, the V40 also has a first with the pioneering Pedestrian Airbag Technology. With these two systems, the V40 is able to improve safety for the occupants while providing protection even for pedestrians.
What the Pedestrian Airbag Technology does is to inflate an airbag just beneath the bonnet’s rear edge. This happens when the system determines that the vehicle has hit a pedestrian. Since the bonnet is now raised, it helps cushion the pedestrian. In addition, by having the airbag, the head of the unfortunate pedestrian is protected from any of the vehicle’s hard points like the lower A-pillars and the windscreen’s base.