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From the Armchair – Volvo's Unseen Answer, The Minivan

<IMG SRC="http://www.swedespeed.com/news/uploads/features/pv50_final.jpg" BORDER="0"> <p>Perhaps its the safety record, the fact that over 50% of customers are female, or that the company is one of the main players in the station wagon segment, but no one will argue that the Volvo brand is not synonymous with the term ‘family car’. A solid offering of V-series wagons, and XC-series soft-roaders support that association strongly, though looking at the range from Gothenburg, it becomes readily apparent that the company is missing a major component of their family car portfolio - the minivan.<p><A HREF="http://www.swedespeed.com/news/publish/Features/article_767.html" TARGET="_blank"><b> Full Story </b></A>
 

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Re: From the Armchair – Volvo's Unseen Answer, The Minivan ([email protected])

Yessssss!!!! Let it come, let it come! <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/biggrin.gif" BORDER="0"> <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/biggrin.gif" BORDER="0"> <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/biggrin.gif" BORDER="0"> <p>IMHO it's not that "unseen", some days ago I stumbled upon a picture from the Volvo Museum in <A HREF="http://www.swedespeed.com/news/publish/Features/article_723.html" TARGET="_blank">this article</A> on the swedespeed site<br>
 

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Re: From the Armchair – Volvo's Unseen Answer, The Minivan ([email protected])

You gotta imagine this has been discused approximately one zillion times in the Volvo boardroom. So what do you think is the reason it's never been done? Pretty obvious upside.<p>Tom.
 

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Re: From the Armchair – Volvo's Unseen Answer, The Minivan ([email protected])

George and Chris- <p>Great article. I think the minivan question for Volvo has been one of multiple priorities for a relatively small and capital constrained company. I would imagine a minivan has been on their "to-do list" but there are many claims on capital at the company, what with the ongoing research and development of replacement models and the intro of the XC90 back in '03. <p>We have an '04 Sienna XLE and previously owned an '02 Odyssey and Volvo's reputation for safety and utility would sell well with the minivan audience. They would obviously be quite late to the party at this point with a premium minivan offering but that did not dissuade them with the XC90. I would love to see a minivan version based on the new S80 platform. To me, it makes all the sense in the world and is a space that is not currently occupied by BMW and Audi.
 

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Re: From the Armchair – Volvo's Unseen Answer, The Minivan (Wayne T5)

I think unfortunately that the "small" minivan market in the US is just not there. Mazda has been trying to establish this niche for quite some time with their products, but they have failed to take off. The minivan stigma in this country is just too strong. For whatever reason, minivans are not cool, and buying one that tries to be cool doesn't work....look at the pathetic sales numbers for the current Nissan Quest. Moreover, one that is trying to be cool and has limited utility (because of size) would be a disaster. <p>I think a P1 based "small" minivan would work great in Europe...look how the MPV's are selling over there. There is a huge number of variants, and the luxury theme has been already proven with entries from Renault, and even the Merc B class.<p>However, I think that the next gen P2 based entry would be a much better choice. Perhaps something along the lines of a Merc. R class, but better executed (less weight, more utility). Something that offers more utility than an SUV, but more design than an outright minivan. <p>And price it better than the 50k R class. Sheesh on Merc.
 

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Re: From the Armchair – Volvo's Unseen Answer, The Minivan (needsdecaf)

I guess my feeling is that a Volvo MPV is the answer to the question nobody asked. I was a kid in the 80s and most of my friends' parents drove Volvo wagons of some kind, all with the rear facing seat. 1 kid in front, 2-3 in the back, and 2 in the "way back." That's a 7 passenger vehicle, similar to most small minivans with a 2 man front bench and 3 man rear bench. What more could you ask for?<p>I guess, the same holds true today (however I don't know if Volvo still offers a "way back" seating arrangement). The Volvo wagon has always been the sophisticated alternative to a cumbersome, unattractive minivan.<p>Carry on Volvo wagons! Don't muddy the waters.
 

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Re: From the Armchair – Volvo's Unseen Answer, The Minivan (tmtalpey)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>tmtalpey</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">You gotta imagine this has been discused approximately one zillion times in the Volvo boardroom. So what do you think is the reason it's never been done? Pretty obvious upside.<p>Tom.</TD></TR></TABLE><p>And a very obvious downside, cost.<br>A Volvo minivan would rival the XC90 in cost, that would put it well out of the range of most minivan shoppers.<p>Also, the Volvo demographic is more SUV friendly than minivan friendly.<p>The real answer is to beef up the Volvo wagons, turn them into crossovers like the Ford Freestyle or Chrysler Pacifica.
 

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Re: From the Armchair – Volvo's Unseen Answer, The Minivan ([email protected])

Assuming this vehicle would be competitively priced, we'd buy this in a heartbeat. We are sick of our Odyssey but not ready to give up the ease of seating seven passengers and the sliding doors....they are much better with car seats, boosters and the like.<p>If this were out now, we'd have one.
 

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Re: From the Armchair – Volvo's Unseen Answer, The Minivan (CINCYFAN)

And I vote for a V90 instead <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/tongue.gif" BORDER="0"><p><A HREF="http://www.swedespeed.com/gallery/gallery2.php?mode=album&album=/Concept%20Cars/VCC%202003" TARGET="_blank">http://www.swedespeed.com/gall...02003</A><p><IMG SRC="http://www.swedespeed.com/news/uploads/volvo/007__scaled_600_004.jpg" BORDER="0">
 

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Re: From the Armchair – Volvo's Unseen Answer, The Minivan (VolvoMax)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>VolvoMax</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">And a very obvious downside, cost. A Volvo minivan would rival the XC90 in cost, that would put it well out of the range of most minivan shoppers.</TD></TR></TABLE><p>I agree, and if it was cost competitve in the minivan market, I doubt Ford would be pleased with that...<p><TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>VolvoMax</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">The real answer is to beef up the Volvo wagons, turn them into crossovers like the Ford Freestyle or Chrysler Pacifica.</TD></TR></TABLE><p>Why? Hasn't the Freestyle (which I kind of like) been a sales disappointment and, for that matter, I don't see people beating down the doors for the Pacifica or the new M-B, either.<p>Gas is still not consistently expensive enough for people to <I>crossover</I> in a big way. No pun intended. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/biggrin.gif" BORDER="0"> (and isn't that what an XC is anyhow?)
 

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Re: From the Armchair – Volvo's Unseen Answer, The Minivan (MrTippy)

I think the Freestyle has tanked because it is a Ford.<br>If it were a Volvo, it would do better.<br>The current wagons are just too small to be useful to people.<br>A crossover wagon that can carry 7 people facing forward would be a big advantage for us.
 

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Re: From the Armchair – Volvo's Unseen Answer, The Minivan (VolvoMax)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>VolvoMax</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">I think the Freestyle has tanked because it is a Ford.</TD></TR></TABLE><p>And an anemic 200hp V6 doesn't cut it anymore.
 

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Re: From the Armchair – Volvo's Unseen Answer, The Minivan (Kaizai)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>Kaizai</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">And I vote for a V90 instead <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/tongue.gif" BORDER="0"><p><A HREF="http://www.swedespeed.com/gallery/gallery2.php?mode=album&album=/Concept%20Cars/VCC%202003" TARGET="_blank">http://www.swedespeed.com/gall...02003</A><p><IMG SRC="http://www.swedespeed.com/news/uploads/volvo/007__scaled_600_004.jpg" BORDER="0"></TD></TR></TABLE><p>Wow. Bold and Beautiful. Say, where's the rear facing seat?
 

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Re: From the Armchair – Volvo's Unseen Answer, The Minivan (ACD)

I think not.Volvo has got limited resources and Id rather see them spending it on more halo stuff;and as said here before,a minivan would need to be cost competitive,and the xc90 is very close to a minivan.I think something along the lines of the upcoming bmw V5 would be excellent:sporty,crossover,stylish,roomy,not too tall,fast.You have to be trendy nowadays,and I'm sure that-looking at the photos-the V5 is going to be a hit,and its going to create a new segment,just like the x5.I personally would buy the V5 as it will not be so tall and heavy,so better handling,speed,braking,fuel consumption..<br>A sporty family mover that will rival the V5 is the answer
 

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Re: From the Armchair – Volvo's Unseen Answer, The Minivan (volvocu)

<I>Assuming this vehicle would be competitively priced</I> <p>There my friends lies your delimma! I agree with Max...it is going to be hard to keep the cost of a "Volvo quality" vehicle like this is the price range of the average minivan shopper!.............that being in the low-mid $20's ...vs almost or at $40k.
 

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Re: From the Armchair – Volvo's Unseen Answer, The Minivan (VolvoMax)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>VolvoMax</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">I think the Freestyle has tanked because it is a Ford.<br>If it were a Volvo, it would do better.<br>The current wagons are just too small to be useful to people.<br>A crossover wagon that can carry 7 people facing forward would be a big advantage for us.</TD></TR></TABLE><p>I agree on the Freestyle, but lose that awful CVT and the tired old engine. Volvo would fix that pdq.<p>The thing I don't get is that Volvo drones on saying they want to sell 600,000 per year cars worldwide but all their cars seem to fit niches. Maybe that's the car business these days, but it means there'll be like 20 models to get to 600K.<p>Tom.
 

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Re: From the Armchair – Volvo's Unseen Answer, The Minivan (universityvolvoOSD)

If Volvo could bring in a fully equipped minivan for the mid- 30's to compete with the Sienna XLE and Ltd. and Ody Touring they would sell well. Big "if", I guess. It would not sell well if the price got into the 40's, IMHO.
 

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Re: From the Armchair – Volvo's Unseen Answer, The Minivan (Wayne T5)

I wonder if Ford could build a US-oriented PV90 in one of their lagging US plants. BMW builds in Spartansburg, and Mercedes in Tuscaloosa. Why not an American-built Volvo minivan? That would probably help put costs in line.
 

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Re: From the Armchair – Volvo's Unseen Answer, The Minivan ([email protected])

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>[email protected]</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">I wonder if Ford could build a US-oriented PV90 in one of their lagging US plants. BMW builds in Spartansburg, and Mercedes in Tuscaloosa. Why not an American-built Volvo minivan? That would probably help put costs in line.</TD></TR></TABLE><p>Only if they completely overhauled the plant into a Volvo facility. If not, I can see the reviews now: "The Fordvo PV90..." <p>But, then, Mercedes in on its way to building cars in Chrysler plants someday; "The goal is for about 65% commonality under the skin with unique bodies, interiors and brand identities." (unidentified Chrysler rep)
 

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Re: From the Armchair – Volvo's Unseen Answer, The Minivan ([email protected])

I don't think that it would.<p>The UAW would get involved in the Ford plants. Not what you want to have happen.<br>While the manufacturing costs are cheaper here then in Germany, the German products are still very expensive.<br>Also, this wouldn't address the material costs.<br>A Volvo minivan would need alot of high strength and boron steel, very expensive.<br>Also, seats, airbags, interior fittings, etc are more expensive on a Volvo.
 
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