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<B>Source:</B><BR><I>Motor Trend Online<BR>Top Story<BR>By: Scott Mead<BR>April 2, 2002</I><P>This is from an older issue of Motor Trend that just went online, but if you havn't read it yet, the Volvo S60 2.4T won the competition. It is a pretty good read...<P><B><A HREF="http://www.motortrend.com/april02/luxury/luxury_f.html" TARGET=_blank>Affordable Luxury Sedans! How Good Are They, Really?</A></B><P> <IMG SRC="http://www.motortrend.com/april02/luxury/luxury.jpg"> <BR> <IMG SRC="http://www.motortrend.com/april02/luxury/volvo.jpg"> <P>-Drew<p>[This message has been edited by InDy (edited 04-10-2002).]
 

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The current Car and Driver slams the S60 AWD in its latest issue. For a variety of real stupid reasons in my opinion.<P>Pat<P>
 

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Of course you can't take any of the 'rags' at face value, but the folks at Motor Trend seem to love the S60. It came close to winning Car of the Year (COTY). Car & Driver doesn't seem to like it that much for whatever reasons, but CAR Magazine really likes the car. The S60 came in 3rd in the CAR Car of the Year award, and they have one in their long term test fleet. Automobile magazine just got finished with their long term V70 T5 and loved the car overall for its demeanour and luxury, but wished for more 'sport'.<P>-Drew
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Iceman:<BR><B>The current Car and Driver slams the S60 AWD in its latest issue. For a variety of real stupid reasons in my opinion.<P>Pat<BR></B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>I just got back from a proposal-submission course (how to write them) and an interesting note they harped on was that, in the customer's mind, <I>perception is reality.</I>. Note the opening paragraph in the C & D report: <P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><BR>The long, dark, harsh winters of Scandinavia have given rise to a sturdy stock of frugal, sensible folks descended from once wild-eyed Vikings such as Eric the Red. Fiercely independent, these Nordic folk are not given to frivolous style over function, and they can be, in some cases, reluctant to embrace new technologies. Consider that neither of the companies hailing from Sweden—where snow blankets at least part of the country for more than half the year—offered a four-wheel-drive sedan until 1999. Sven: "Four-wheel drive? Dat's fer dem sissy warm-landers who don't know how ta drive." Ole: "Yah, shoor, skinny studded tires is all ya need."<BR><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Note the condescending stereotyping and the blatantly false statement about the unwillingness to embrace new technologies. Not real at all, but that's how the evaluators <I>perceived</I> the car even before they climbed into it.<P>Of course, Volvo put the 2.4T engine in their initial release of the AWD (Why this wasn't included with the T5 I'll never know), so C&D slammed it for the lack of performance.<P>Personally, I don't think Volvo's push the the 'lux' end of the market is differentiating them from others in the market, especially against their other stablemates in PAG. (Differentiation is crucial, according to the proposal class instructor, otherwise the customer will pick the cheapest bidder <I>or established brand</I> if all other factors are equal.)<P>Nissan is pushing their differentiation via raw engine horsepower. So far, it's working.<P>What can Volvo do to differentiate itself from the rest of the market? Whatever they're doing, it ain't enough.
 

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In my opinion I think Volvo is living off of their reputation of safety and quality and hoping that the new styling and AWD offering is enough to make it stand out which we know its not when you have the likes of the A4 3.0 Quattro and 330ix out there.<P>One thing that I think Volvo America did that was stupid was giving them a S60 AWD for testing in Michigan that had the regular 16" wheels and tires on it. I've driven the regular AWD with the 16" wheels and its handling is not the same as one with the 17" wheels and the P6's (even though the P6's aren't very good either).<P>The on center feel is awful on the 16's and the handling isn't much better. The measured lateral acceleration of 0.77 is awful for a car in its class and is definitely not what I feel on my S60 AWD with 17" wheels. My previous car was an Accord and it was 0.78 and I can tell you that the S60 is much better than the Accord even when the Accord was new.<P>The article doesn't even mention other benefits of the vehicle like the safety aspects, great seats and the awesome stereo.<P>Very one sided in my opinion.<P>Pat<P>
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by T5 Dave:<BR><B> Note the condescending stereotyping and the blatantly false statement about the unwillingness to embrace new technologies. Not real at all, but that's how the evaluators <I>perceived</I> the car even before they climbed into it.<P>Of course, Volvo put the 2.4T engine in their initial release of the AWD (Why this wasn't included with the T5 I'll never know), so C&D slammed it for the lack of performance.<P>Personally, I don't think Volvo's push the the 'lux' end of the market is differentiating them from others in the market, especially against their other stablemates in PAG. (Differentiation is crucial, according to the proposal class instructor, otherwise the customer will pick the cheapest bidder <I>or established brand</I> if all other factors are equal.)<P>Nissan is pushing their differentiation via raw engine horsepower. So far, it's working.<P>What can Volvo do to differentiate itself from the rest of the market? Whatever they're doing, it ain't enough.</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><BR>I couldn't agree with you more, Dave, in ALL of the issues that you just raised.<P><B>VOLVO....ARE YOU LISTENING/READING? WAKE UP!</B> The current models are much better than previous models but so is the competition...Follow BMW's lead...<P>Nissan will be the VW of Japan, as far as rising from the dead. Their resurrection has started and they are building tremendous momentum.<P>Yannis<BR><P>
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by GrecianVolvo:<BR><B> <BR>I couldn't agree with you more, Dave, in ALL of the issues that you just raised.<P>VOLVO....ARE YOU LISTENING/READING? WAKE UP!</B> The current models are much better than previous models but so is the competition...Follow BMW's lead...<P>Nissan will be the VW of Japan, as far as rising from the dead. Their resurrection has started and they are building tremendous momentum.<P>Yannis<P><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Yannis,<P>What you can do (in the short run until BMW figures this out) is to duplicate a demonstration I saw at the ReVovolution Tour. Videotape it so you don't have to perform it on a car in the showroom, but make sure that tape (or preferrably, DVD) plays over and over again in the showroom as customers come in the door:<P>Take a decent size hammer and smash the side glass of a Beemer. It shatters completely. Do the same on the Volvo's laminated side glass. It stays intact. Gee, the thugs are breaking into your car, which type of window would you rather have? That feature is described in the brochure, but it doesn't come across until you actually see it. My wife knew about it, but was <I>very</I> impressed with the demo. Why this isn't in the showroom as a video I'll never know. But it <I>does</I> provide the requisite differentiation factor.<P>It would cost you the price of a couple of windows, but if done properly, will pay for itself many times over.<P>Just a thought.<P>
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by GrecianVolvo:<BR><B>Nissan will be the VW of Japan, as far as rising from the dead. Their resurrection has started and they are building tremendous momentum.<P>Yannis</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Agree, 100%...Go Infiniti! <IMG SRC="http://www.swedespeed.com/ubb/wink.gif"><P>-Drew<P>
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by T5 Dave:<BR><B> Yannis,<P>What you can do (in the short run until BMW figures this out) is to duplicate a demonstration I saw at the ReVovolution Tour. Videotape it so you don't have to perform it on a car in the showroom, but make sure that tape (or preferrably, DVD) plays over and over again in the showroom as customers come in the door:<P>Take a decent size hammer and smash the side glass of a Beemer. It shatters completely. Do the same on the Volvo's laminated side glass. It stays intact. Gee, the thugs are breaking into your car, which type of window would you rather have? That feature is described in the brochure, but it doesn't come across until you actually see it. My wife knew about it, but was <I>very</I> impressed with the demo. Why this isn't in the showroom as a video I'll never know. But it <I>does</I> provide the requisite differentiation factor.<P>It would cost you the price of a couple of windows, but if done properly, will pay for itself many times over.<P>Just a thought.<P></B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><BR>Dave,<P>thank you for the thoughtful suggestion. I hope that you would be proud of me since (about 2 months ago) I have given <B><I>each one</I></B> of my sales consultants a CD-ROM with this demonstration and they each have it installed on their PCs, at their desks. I have trained them on how to get to the glass breakage demo (the CD has a lot of other useful demo regarding the benefits of this laminated glass) and we have been pretty successful in selling the Touring Package.<P>But the competitive "problem" vs. the likes of BMW and Audi lies much deeper. Volvo's Marketing department is A S L E E P...(did I emphasize this enough???) They think that people will buy our cars based on safety alone plus the new look...No way, Jose. It "ain't working" anymore...our cars are 100% better than what we had 2-3 years ago but so are anyone else's. If I had an S60 or an S40 or even an S80 back on 1998, I would be working 24hrs a day in order to be able to keep up...But we did not and we were selling a lot more cars. The economy does not help but it is not hurting certain brands like Lexus, BMW, Audi, VW and Mercedes. And wait to see how many cars Nissan and Infiniti will sell in the next 2 years. <P>I may sound frustrated with what I do. I am not. I love it! But I am exasperated with Volvo's marketing efforts. They live in the dark! They are so far behind it is not even funny. Take a look at the "innovative" commercials (both print and TV/Radio, excl. the NCAA commercial which I found unique!) and compare them to those of VW, Audi, BMW, etc. and you will understand why I feel the way I feel! <IMG SRC="http://www.plauder-smilies.de/argue.gif"> <BR> <IMG SRC="http://www.plauder-smilies.de/madgo.gif"> <P><BR>Yannis<P><BR>
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by GrecianVolvo:<BR><B> <BR>Dave,<P>thank you for the thoughtful suggestion. I hope that you would be proud of me since (about 2 months ago) I have given <I>each one</I></B> of my sales consultants a CD-ROM with this demonstration and they each have it installed on their PCs, at their desks. I have trained them on how to get to the glass breakage demo (the CD has a lot of other useful demo regarding the benefits of this laminated glass) and we have been pretty successful in selling the Touring Package.<P>But the competitive "problem" vs. the likes of BMW and Audi lies much deeper. Volvo's Marketing department is A S L E E P...(did I emphasize this enough???) They think that people will buy our cars based on safety alone plus the new look...No way, Jose. It "ain't working" anymore...our cars are 100% better than what we had 2-3 years ago but so are anyone else's. If I had an S60 or an S40 or even an S80 back on 1998, I would be working 24hrs a day in order to be able to keep up...But we did not and we were selling a lot more cars. The economy does not help but it is not hurting certain brands like Lexus, BMW, Audi, VW and Mercedes. And wait to see how many cars Nissan and Infiniti will sell in the next 2 years. <P>I may sound frustrated with what I do. I am not. I love it! But I am exasperated with Volvo's marketing efforts. They live in the dark! They are so far behind it is not even funny. Take a look at the "innovative" commercials (both print and TV/Radio, excl. the NCAA commercial which I found unique!) and compare them to those of VW, Audi, BMW, etc. and you will understand why I feel the way I feel! <IMG SRC="http://www.plauder-smilies.de/argue.gif"> <BR> <IMG SRC="http://www.plauder-smilies.de/madgo.gif"> <P><BR>Yannis<P><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Yannis,<P>I'm torn. Yes, I'm proud that your sales reps have the CD ROM. No question the video will demonstrate the effectiveness of the laminated glass. Trouble is, it's not in a prominent place in the showroom. Customers won't know about it until they get into the rep's cubicle. Over half the walk-ins will leave before they get back to the cubicle. (I saw this at my local dealer--two women stopped in to look at a V70 and then resisted all efforts to take a test drive or talk with the sales rep.)<P>So that's why I was thinking the video had to be on a screen on a continuous loop near the showroom door--that way the customer sees the benefit before the sales rep even approaches them. The best way to sell is to convince the person it's their own idea even before the rep approaches them.<P>If all goes well I'll keep my S60 and my wife's S80 for 10 years. My only fear is that if they get smashed like my T-bird, I'd have to get another. Trouble is, those models can't be had without a sunroof (standard on S80 & S60 T5 nowadays) so I'd automatically start looking at a different manufacturer and not even consider the Volvo. So, to me, the standard sunroof feature is a detriment.<P>I agree with you, marketing is asleep, especially since many other manufacturers now have the side curtain airbags. (In 2000 only the Volvo and BMW had them, and the BMW's protected only for the front seat occupants. Protecting my wife's head was worth the extra $$ for the car, so we bought it. But now I have other choices at lower cost, so that differentiation factor is negated by the competition now.)<P>Best of luck.
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by T5 Dave:<BR><B> Yannis,<P>I'm torn. Yes, I'm proud that your sales reps have the CD ROM. No question the video will demonstrate the effectiveness of the laminated glass. Trouble is, it's not in a prominent place in the showroom. Customers won't know about it until they get into the rep's cubicle. Over half the walk-ins will leave before they get back to the cubicle. (I saw this at my local dealer--two women stopped in to look at a V70 and then resisted all efforts to take a test drive or talk with the sales rep.)<P>So that's why I was thinking the video had to be on a screen on a continuous loop near the showroom door--that way the customer sees the benefit before the sales rep even approaches them. The best way to sell is to convince the person it's their own idea even before the rep approaches them.<P><BR></B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Dave,<P>if you saw how our showroom is laid out you would understand. We have an OPEN floor, no cubicles, just desks to sit at and chat. Extremely low key. But I cannot underestimate the value of a video screen/monitor running all the time. Something to think about.<P>Anyway, thanks!<P>Yannis<P>
 

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About magazines and places liking Volvo's, I watched some videos on Edmunds.com's site, and they didn't give Volvo any awards this year. VW got a lot and so did BMW and MB, MINI won over all with luxuary sedan and hatchback. Edmunds gave Volvo some good recognition in 01 tho. Nothing this year. Turbo lag and unsporty handling in the s60 was a major reason, but I expected Volvo to get something in luxuary wagon, but MB and BMW got the awards.
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by omega6_virus:<BR><B>Turbo lag and unsporty handling in the s60 was a major reason, but I expected Volvo to get something in luxuary wagon, but MB and BMW got the awards.</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><BR>Turbo lag my a$$ <IMG SRC="http://www.mansun-nl.com/smilies/moon.gif"> <P>These morons will write whatever...they want turbo lag? Drive a Saab...but you never hear about that, do you?<P>I bet if BMW were a turbo then it would not have lag...<P>Yannis<BR><P>
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by GrecianVolvo:<BR><B> <BR>Turbo lag my a$$ <IMG SRC="http://www.mansun-nl.com/smilies/moon.gif"> <P>These morons will write whatever...they want turbo lag? Drive a Saab...but you never hear about that, do you?<P>I bet if BMW were a turbo then it would not have lag...<P>Yannis<P><BR></B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>I totally agree with Yannis. MT, C&D, R&T and even Consumer Reports now are on their knees kissing BMW's ass. Don't get me wrong, they are great cars but they aren't the only great cars around. By the way they think if you don't own a BMW you might as well off yourself.<P>Pat<P>
 

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I didn't know about that feature on the windows. I agree, it seems that in this day of car break-ins and smashed windows that would be a great selling feature.<P>As far as Volvo's marketing goes what's with that commercial where the two S60's look like they're playing 1 on 1 on a basketball court on top of a building. I just don't get that commercial. Can someone explain it to me?<P>There are two areas in which I think Volvo is better than everyone else:<P>1) Seats - Volvo seats are the most comfortable I've ever had the pleasure of sitting in. It's like sitting in a Lazy Boy, but your car.<P>2) Sound system - Dyne Audio makes among the industry's best drivers and Volvo uses these in their premium stereos. <P>Volvo might consider capitalizing on these traits. Anyone who travels long distances on a highway would certainly appreciate the great seats and entertainment system. Perhaps luxury is what Volvo should emphasize in it's marketing battle with other brands.<P>As for the C&D article, I didn't think they slammed the S60AWD. They, like most car magazines, overemphasized sporty driving. So much so that the extremes they tested represent limits mostly realized only on a track. <P>Like many audiophile magazines, something that isn't even a discernable difference to the average consumer is made out to be just an incredible difference to enthusiasts.<P>The current World of Wheels (Cdn. magazine) compares the S60AWD and A4 3.0 and the reviewer's comments say that the Audi's handling is much sportier than the Volvo's but that he preferred the Volvo. He said the Audi's suspension was too stiff and that it was almost as stiff as the last 911 they tested. What works well on the track doesn't work well for everyday driving and the above would seem to be an example.<P>I agree with the BMW bias, I almost puke whenever I hear people go on about it. In fact one of the guys Iceman and I went to high school with goes on about how his BMW is the ultimate driving machine. When I took it out for a spin the excuses before I even got in were "It needs to be tuned up" and "It's wet out so be careful, it doesn't do well in the rain". Well I don't know about everyone else, but here in Vancouver it rains like crazy so one would conclude a BMW isn't a good choice for where we live.<P>
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Iceman:<BR><B> I totally agree with Yannis. MT, C&D, R&T and even Consumer Reports now are on their knees kissing BMW's ass. Don't get me wrong, they are great cars but they aren't the only great cars around. By the way they think if you don't own a BMW you might as well off yourself.<P>Pat<P></B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>When I was looking for a car, I was certain that I was going German. Ist with an A4, I always wanted one, then a BMW if it fit in my price range.<P>To my surprise, I didn't like the A4. It felt fat, sluggish, porky reaction time. The 3.0 sounded great, but you really had to rev the **** out of it to feel anything. The 6spd tranny was a joke. Getting out of that car, I next tried a 325i. <P>325i was much bettr, felt light, svelte and nimble, best clutch/tranny out there. But coming from a 99 Mustang GT, this engine was not up to my standards. Once again, incredibly smooth, but you had to zing it all the time to get moving. You know sometimes you just want to drive, not hammer it all the time. The 330i felt faster, but had the same characteristics as the 2.5L. You have to shift all day long, stay in the power range, etc...To me, no way that car runs as fast as CD says. Just no way. <P>The X-Type was much better than the A4, felt more responsive but once again, no torque. Another nice linear, boring powerplant.<P>Get into the T5, and I'm just loafing around to get used to it, shifting et al, and I look down and I'm doing 100 km/h. What? The only car that sneaks up on me like that is my Mustang. HMMMM....ME LIKE. Once again a little power here and there, produces 120km/h. Hit it in fourth at 1500rpm, and it simply whooshes off in a stump pulling sort of way that no other car has. And I drove the exact same route as all the others, same on ramps, same off ramps (for g-purposes) same everything. It really helps in comparing vehicles because you can recall each car's behaviour much more easily.<P>My brother was with me for all of them except this car, the T5. I told him "this car feels like my Mustang, torque everywhere". He didn't beleive me, until I took him out. He said with the radio on (he previously had a 97 Copbra SVT), since you couldn't hear the motor, there might as well be a V8 under the hood - the motor just pulls and pulls and pulls.<P>So to wrap up this long post, BMWs are great - if you want to drive 8/10ths and up all the time. If you live in the real world, where 95% of your driving consists of transportation and no autocrossing, the T5 is more than its equal. In my eyes, its torque and LACK of turbo lag make this car more lively and fun. <P>By the way, the covetous stares I get from BMW driver either strikes me of the beauty of my black beast - or they are scared. Which one do you guys think?<P>
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by coladin:<BR><B> By the way, the covetous stares I get from BMW driver either strikes me of the beauty of my black beast - or they are scared. Which one do you guys think?<P></B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P> <IMG SRC="http://www.swedespeed.com/ubb/biggrin.gif"> They are definitely scared..trust me, some of those bimmer owners do know what kinda power you are packing there. <P>The annoying look from a bimmer driver when I was crusing 70 some mph in twisties side by side with him in my 240 with 14 inch wheels (w/o hub cap)....is priceless. <IMG SRC="http://www.swedespeed.com/ubb/wink.gif">
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Watchdog:<BR><B>1) Seats - Volvo seats are the most comfortable I've ever had the pleasure of sitting in. It's like sitting in a Lazy Boy, but your car.<P>2) Sound system - Dyne Audio makes among the industry's best drivers and Volvo uses these in their premium stereos. <P><BR></B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Agree 100% on the seats; the best in the world! Stereo? Nah...Volvo's factory systems have been average, at best. The only exceptions are the Dynaudio system found in the C70s and the current Dolby surround sound system in the P2 cars (and the Audiomax is the upgraded version of this system, 320W!)...Other than that, average systems with average speakers...I think they made a huge mistake with the S/V40s (actually two): Lack of a KILLER stereo system and lack of a manual transmission.<P>Wanna hear great FACTORY (not aftermarket) system? Try the upgraded version of Nacamichi found in many of the Lexi!<P>Yannis<P><P>
 

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I thought that Lexus models offered a Mark Levinson stereo system, which though I haven't heard it, I'm sure is awesome. It's not hard for some Mark Levinson home systems to cost as much as an inexpensive car!<P>
 
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