SwedeSpeed - Volvo Performance Forum banner

1 - 20 of 54 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
708 Posts
Designed to strengthen the position in the US market? You know should it move forward, right after its debut at an autoshow you'll see the words "not destined for the north american market." Not sure their logic on bringing a C90 luxury convertible here if the C70 was not a top seller and more people here stateside are waiting on a V40/60 to come over.

Sent from my SCH-I500 using Tapatalk 2
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,447 Posts
Awesome!!! What other awesome cars are they making for us not to get in the US?:rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,006 Posts
Honestly...good luck with that. I've always liked the C70 in concept but it's far too expensive to have the interior of the S40/C30. I don't know how far up market they are looking to go but they'd have a tough time competing against the E-Class coupe (especially with its 6 and 8 cylinder options). Really I can only see them going after the C-Class coupe or the 328i (maybe the A5) but the C70 is already sort of in that segment. Since they would slot it above the C70 I would expect the C90 to be a $50K car and at that price they're knocking on the door of the S5, 335is and right where the E350 coupe sits. I think one of the articles mentions how the S80 is aimed at the E-Class yet this new coupe will be based on the S60 so there appears to be a disconnect there. It should be a coupe version of the next S80 if they're aiming that high.

I guess it's possible to bring the C70 downmarket in price a bit so that the C90 is about 45K or so. That could help. If this turns out to be true I'd be interested in seeing what the actual result is but I'd be hard pressed to choose something over the pillar-less awesomeness of the E-Class.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,201 Posts
Honestly...good luck with that. I've always liked the C70 in concept but it's far too expensive to have the interior of the S40/C30. I don't know how far up market they are looking to go but they'd have a tough time competing against the E-Class coupe (especially with its 6 and 8 cylinder options). Really I can only see them going after the C-Class coupe or the 328i (maybe the A5) but the C70 is already sort of in that segment. Since they would slot it above the C70 I would expect the C90 to be a $50K car and at that price they're knocking on the door of the S5, 335is and right where the E350 coupe sits. I think one of the articles mentions how the S80 is aimed at the E-Class yet this new coupe will be based on the S60 so there appears to be a disconnect there. It should be a coupe version of the next S80 if they're aiming that high.

I guess it's possible to bring the C70 downmarket in price a bit so that the C90 is about 45K or so. That could help. If this turns out to be true I'd be interested in seeing what the actual result is but I'd be hard pressed to choose something over the pillar-less awesomeness of the E-Class.
It does not say that it is going to be based off the S60, it says that it's possible that it would be based off the S60 and that it would make better sense in terms of its name. Otherwise this would be a totally fresh product from the new SPA platform and engine ranges, I think Volvo can do it judging from how great the V40 looks outside and how premium the cabin appears, though Volvo will have to make sure it has at least 320 HP if it's going to be competing against the likes of the E-Class Cab/A5 Cab.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,006 Posts
It does not say that it is going to be based off the S60, it says that it's possible that it would be based off the S60 and that it would make better sense in terms of its name. Otherwise this would be a totally fresh product from the new SPA platform and engine ranges, I think Volvo can do it judging from how great the V40 looks outside and how premium the cabin appears, though Volvo will have to make sure it has at least 320 HP if it's going to be competing against the likes of the E-Class Cab/A5 Cab.
In the same regard it does not say that a convertible version will be offered, only that one may be offered so it's really competing against the coupe versions of those cars. It's all just speculation right now anyway so no one, outside of Volvo, really knows what they're thinking.

Regardless I'm not convinced that they will be able to pull this off. Volvo seems to be moving in two different directions by claiming they want to compete upmarket (or as some reports say, disclaiming such motivations) while also scaling down and going for the economy route for their entire lineup. It just doesn't make a lot of sense. People can claim small engines are the way of the future all they want but I feel like this is not something Volvo should jump the gun on. It may be the future but that future is not here yet as both BMW and Mercedes offer 4, 6, 8 and 12 cylinder engines in various cars, something that isn't going to drastically change in the next few years.

Oh and the V40 may be great looking and all but inspiration for a "halo" type vehicle it is not. Let's hope they don't repeat their mistake with the C70 and slap a V40 interior into a C90 and then charge $50K for it. Creating a desirable V40 is very different from pulling off a C90 so I'm not putting too much faith in it yet.

Edit (many hours later):

I should add that perhaps my inability to see this as a success reflects the image problem that Volvo has and will need to combat. Even as an owner of the current generation S80, which I love, I can't see them competing against BMW/MB/Audi/Jaguar (and arguably they shouldn't compete against Jaguar because my dealership sells both Volvo and Jaguar and I'd imagine there are others as well). I just don't see it happening. The E350 or E550 coupe is very likely the next car I will buy and I don't have a problem spending the money to have such a vehicle. I would hesitate however to spend the same amount of money on a Volvo coupe. The C90, if it actually happens, would need to be absolutely stunning (hopefully without a b-pillar), powerful and RWD for me to consider it over an E-Class.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
If Volvo wants a flagship niche vehicle that is going to sell in low quantities, let them go ahead.

I just think it is little more than another mixed message about the future line-up that doesn't help market share nor sales in the short term. Plenty of evidence with other intermediate brands that their luxury model costs a premium, gathers limited sales, has a limited shelf life (and can be riddled with issues).

If they think people shopping the E-class etc level at MB & BMW will flock to Volvo; they might as well pull out of the market. Sure, other premium brands are introducing 4-cyl engines at the lower end; but 6-cyl is still where the bread & butter is in the US. The only point where a 4cyl Volvo C90 wins against an E coupe is value; but for the rest?? Never mind that MB drivers are quite brand loyal.

Touching on the premium & luxury aspirations, I had the pleasure of doing a convertible comparison between Volvo, Audi & MB. The C70 is a nice combo, but it can only win on value. In essence: Econo Volvo. Sporty Audi. Luxury MB. I really loved the C70 on paper (& photo & video) until we drove it; then it got all meh. Not enough comfort, power, tech, refinement, ...

That's not to say Volvo can't work on those things and offer more upscale vehicles, that the luxury market may be shrinking (I say may just because of the economy), etc., but all the cards are stacked against them.

I think, just like many others expressing their opinion here on this forum, the best thing Volvo can do is refresh their vehicles sooner rather than later, broaden the lineup again, include some nice safety and technology factory default so it can be used as a halo throughout the lineup; keep their warranty & maintenance plan; and market your cars!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
... Let's hope they don't repeat their mistake with the C70 and slap a V40 interior into a C90 and then charge $50K for it. ...
Plus, it will come with a 4-cyl engine!

The C70 was quite disappointing in many regards, when we looked closely at it a few months ago.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
434 Posts
In the same regard it does not say that a convertible version will be offered, only that one may be offered so it's really competing against the coupe versions of those cars. It's all just speculation right now anyway so no one, outside of Volvo, really knows what they're thinking.

Regardless I'm not convinced that they will be able to pull this off. Volvo seems to be moving in two different directions by claiming they want to compete upmarket (or as some reports say, disclaiming such motivations) while also scaling down and going for the economy route for their entire lineup. It just doesn't make a lot of sense. People can claim small engines are the way of the future all they want but I feel like this is not something Volvo should jump the gun on. It may be the future but that future is not here yet as both BMW and Mercedes offer 4, 6, 8 and 12 cylinder engines in various cars, something that isn't going to drastically change in the next few years.

Oh and the V40 may be great looking and all but inspiration for a "halo" type vehicle it is not. Let's hope they don't repeat their mistake with the C70 and slap a V40 interior into a C90 and then charge $50K for it. Creating a desirable V40 is very different from pulling off a C90 so I'm not putting too much faith in it yet.
A few fair points here but then Volvo had the 3.2 litre Yamaha derived 6 cylinder engine for years - Volvo pulled out of the market to produce anything larger than 5 cylinders because of the fuel consumption in their cars, not just helped along by the extensive safety kit. The Germans with the exception of Audi, have forever had luxury and solid build on their side. Volvo represent a different market even though they've had plenty of years and experience in dealing with luxury. I think we can expect to see different ways of luxury being panned out against what the Germans have forever done and certainly Volvo have time and money now to develop higher engines. They may well make promises about 4 cylinders only, but there's nothing to stop Volvo from forging a sub-company like Polestar or similar origins of names/other brands to develop a bigger engine range.

As for the V40, it can be represented as a halo model quite easily - particularly when in time, it may well develop 4 door sedan variants to compete with German brands produced in China - whilst the U.S get the XC40, Europe et al may well get both without the sedan version - a current trend that other brands are now doing including products from GM with their Astra/Buick Verano variants and then a smaller C30 replacement may well then be used spun out from the V40 floor pan. In terms of versatility and market approach, the V40 has it all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,006 Posts
As for the V40, it can be represented as a halo model quite easily - particularly when in time, it may well develop 4 door sedan variants to compete with German brands produced in China - whilst the U.S get the XC40, Europe et al may well get both without the sedan version - a current trend that other brands are now doing including products from GM with their Astra/Buick Verano variants and then a smaller C30 replacement may well then be used spun out from the V40 floor pan. In terms of versatility and market approach, the V40 has it all.
Except that's not what a halo vehicle is.

Just saying....
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,121 Posts
I THINK that the folks at Volvo are smoking crack.

They're willing to bring to market a car that nobody asked for, and that can't compete in practically any realm. But they won't bring over a V60, or a manual transmission S60 (cars that people have been begging for)? These folks have lost their last marble.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,104 Posts
The muddled thinking continues. This is obviously a official leak, but what are they thinking. The problem is lack of volume and the next thing in the legendary pipeline is a luxury coupe? A niche, inside a crack, inside a crevice.

Now the C70 is a nice concept, just not very well executed. So rather than more of this pie in the sky, pipeline stuff, how about fixing the C70 and making it a real competitor. I expect the answer is there are people at Volvo who are really more interested in stuff to be delivered in 2015 (if ever), than in rolling up their sleeves and actually producing something for today's market.

Strategically the C70 makes more sense than a C90. It plays to the traditional base, people who are value conscious, yet want something nice and different. It also has less competition at that level than there is at the MB E level. But why do a great C70, when you can bash your brains out going up against MB in a segment it has owned for 50 years.

(and I agree with George Dill, the current E coupe is dynamite)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
784 Posts
"The muddled thinking continues. This is obviously a official leak, but what are they thinking. The problem is lack of volume and the next thing in the legendary pipeline is a luxury coupe? A niche, inside a crack, inside a crevice. "

Your thinking is wrong, Volvo needs to be in expensive niches to pull higher profits PER UNIT considering its low volume. Jaguar performed an exhaustive study about sales of the X-type and concluded they would better off selling fewer high profit units but one major hinge to
that was supercharging the V6 to deliver more power; the transmission could not hold up to the the additional power output. Volvo being a volume player (sans a lower cost US production facility) just isn't realistic anywhere in the short term. People are VERY WILLING to pay more
to get a M3, 5 series, Audi A6, Lexus GS, Lexus LS or Mercedes E Class despite Volvo perhaps being more reliable and safer than most of its Euro competitors. Volvo needs to compete peer to peer in high profit segments in the U.S. market. I believe it is easier for Volvo to go upmarket in the U.S. and increase profits than it is to expect to be a volume player especially without having a a North American plant.

If small niche,expensive vehicles aren't successful why do you think there are models such as the BMW X6, Mercedes CLS, Mercedes SL, Jaguar XK, Audi A7, Porsche Cayenne,? You don't have to move the volume if you can generate high profits per unit especially if you are benefiting from existing architectures/platforms used for other models. Audi has shot itself in the foot time and time again with poor quality yet expensive models however they are building models people tend to LUST after.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,740 Posts
Excluding the jaguar since I don't really follow them much, all the other companies have more mainstream models that are high volume. So those companies can afford to then venture into more niche vehicles. The niche vehicles and their pricing benefit from A LOT of parts in the high volume models.

What came first, the high volume models or the niche models?

And personally, I think we need to define small niche and expensive vehicles. Small niche is fine, but maybe we need to define expensive. There's X6 expensive and then there's Ferrari expensive. Which one generates more profit?

Do you think these niche vehicles would still exist if they weren't also selling tons of 3s, Cs, A4s, etc? If the high volume models didn't exist, those niche vehicles would just be that much more expensive. Do you think the X6 would be selling if it were priced like a Ferrari?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,121 Posts
I think it's a bit of a chicken vs. egg scenario.

The BMW folks see the M5s, M3s, etc. and think to themselves, "well, if they can make such an awesome car, then surely my mainstream 3-series will be made right," and so they buy those models thinking their cars will have slightly lesser performance/technology than the halo car, but at a significantly lower price point. Wouldn't you have a lot of confidence in a car company that can produce vehicles of the caliber of the M series cars?

The problem for Volvo is that they don't have a halo car. There is no production example from Volvo that showcases the company's technology, performance, and design in a singular vehicle that represents the pinnacle of what Volvo has to offer the consumer. So there is no example of what Volvo can do best to instill confidence in the consumer that their plain-jane Volvo will be exceptional. The other downside is that with the lack of a halo car, there's nothing particularly interesting to draw folks into showrooms to look at the other vehicles Volvo has to offer.

So, what Volvo needs to do (and has done in the past) is sell cars based on a quality-for-value basis. That is, produce high-quality vehicles that offer better-than-average performance, better-than-average reliability, top-of-the-line safety, excellent versatility, and a delightful driver experience, all for a less-than-average price point that makes the consumer feel they're getting a great value for their money. This is something Volvo did quite well during the 70's and 80's. The 90's and 2000's were pretty good, but saw the dawn of the piss-poor advertising campaign age on Volvo's part. And now we're in the age of the "if we offer the American consumer fewer models, fewer options, less versatility, less performance, archaic info-tainment systems, and little regard for a true driving experience, we'll be able to sell them more cars."

This concept of offering the consumer less and expecting them to buy more is ridiculous. Volvo has the capability of producing class-leading vehicles. They just choose not to because they're too scared. And that's too bad.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,104 Posts
R Sales, Well said. You have succinctly described the present situation and the path out of it. Its a shame VCC and VCNA don't see it your way, the question is will they see the light before it is too late. If you have declining sales when the industry is gang busters, what do you do when the industry takes a dip, the answer is you crater. I have said, I think there is a strong likely hood that when the present business plan proves to be a failure, VCNA will throw in the towel. They don't appear to have the managerial firepower to execute what you suggest.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,740 Posts
R Salesman, I mostly agree with you except for the

They just choose not to because they're too scared.
Seems like you are basing everybody else's success on halo cars and I just find that hard to believe. What are they scared of? Offering a polestar? Offering the v60? In the U.S.? Neither of these will sell well in the U.S. Even the more common models that should be selling more, the S60 and the XC60, are not. Isn't Volvo last in every category? While I'm sure they'd sell some V60s, I just can't believe it would be a significant amount. How many people will pony up the rumored $155k for a polestar S60, a car that only the owner knows is worth that much? Please... Most people spending money in that range like to flaunt it, and the polestar S60 isn't that kind of car. The number of places one can actually even take advantage of the polestar is far and few between. But at every single stop light, at lot of other cars in that price range STAND OUT, and most likely still are way faster than what is waiting next to them.

Really, what percentage of buyers walk into a bmw showroom even knowing what an M3 is? Do BMW buyers really walk in wanting to look at an M3 and walk out with a 328? I just don't think so.

I guess there's really no way to know, but I just find it hard to believe that any significant amount of 3 or 5 sales are ALL JUST because of the M models. Sure, I know they exist, but if I ever did get a 3 or 5, it wouldn't at all be because I know an M exists.

Without a doubt, marketting wise, does it hurt having a halo car? No. Just the bottom line maybe if it doesn't sell. If a company can afford to offer them, go for it! It would be nice if Volvo had them, but not at the risk of going under.

BUT... Remember, even with a halo car, there's still more to the car than just "halo" performance. A lot of buyers still want the rest of the car to be just as awesome too. And this is where Volvo is failing BIG.

Take everything you said before

if we offer the American consumer fewer models, fewer options, less versatility, less performance, archaic info-tainment systems, and little regard for a true driving experience, we'll be able to sell them more cars."
but JUST substitute in HALO performance, and that still isn't enough IMO. While not that good an analogy, would the xoom have outsold the ipad if it had had a x100 faster processor with x10 battery life at x4 the cost?

Can Volvo really afford to offer a halo car? One that is modern and serious about going against other mainstream halo cars? I personally think Volvo should get solid ground under their feet before venturing off in that direction.

IMO, they just need to start building the better, more fully featured, and easier to use cars, that mainstream buyers are interested in. Volvo use to be normal, almost a 1 for 1 comparison. They are just way behind everybody else now in every category but safety. But everybody else has done a better job of trying to catch up in safety than Volvo has done in catching up with everything else that goes into a car.

Buying cars today is a lot different than 10+ years ago. The stereo, was, well, a stereo. There is lots more stuff today that we didn't have back then. But excluding things like USB, Bluetooth, and safety technologies like CitySafety, BLIS, Adaptive cruise, a Volvo doesn't really offer anything else new. The stereo is just yesterday's stereo with an even worse interface (but pretty to look at screen). Everybody else is offering things like way way better stereos that are easier to use, subwoofers, power tilt/telescoping wheels tied to memory, heated steering, cooled seats, remote start, in car apps for weather, fuel prices, onstar, mood lighting, and on and on and on.

And here we are today, and the best we have forward to look for, is essentially Volvo catching up. But when that happens, will they still already be outdated again?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,121 Posts
pattyweb,

I'm not of the opinion that BMW, MB, etc. do well solely due to their halo cars. They do well because they actually build class-leading cars, and set out with the intent and commitment to build class-leading cars -- something Volvo dips their toes in the water, but won't fully commit to. I do, however, believe that the cars-for-the-masses in BMW/MB's lineup benefit from the trickle-down effect, performance & technology wise, of their halo cars. I'm not saying that people walk in looking at M3s and leave buying 328s. I'm saying that the critically-acclaimed success of the M series cars instills confidence in the entire brand, which can't hurt sales.

The point I was trying to make is that since Volvo refuses to go the halo car route, they've got to go the bang-for-the-buck route. A good example of this philosophy is that of Hyundai. Think of where Hyundai was as a company, and what caliber of cars they offered just a decade ago. I daresay most of us here would've been embarrassed to own a Hyundai from 10 years ago. But, by continually improving their product quality, offering, and options, and technology, they've slowly but surely become a company that's earned mainstream success. And look at what they offer now: a plethora of models (even some high-performing, high-technology vehicles that on some levels compete with the Euro imports), many of which are excellent bang-for-the-buck cars. In sum, if Volvo isn't going to go halo, they need to go bang-for-the-buck. Currently, Volvo is doing neither.

And then there's been the opportunities for greatness that Volvo -- for lack of a better term -- was too scared to seize. The C30. A venerable competitor to the GTI/A3/Mini. Volvo decided to offer it as a 4-seater instead of a 5. They had the technology, and the parts on the shelf, to offer in in AWD, but they didn't. Guess what a C30 T5 AWD from a couple of years ago would have been? It would have been a 2012 VW Golf R-beater -- a car that's selling like hotcakes right now (and oh, by the way, it's only offered with a manual transmission). Everyone begged Volvo to release the C30 as AWD, but they didn't -- and if they had, it absolutely would've been the hottest hatch on the market, offering something the competition didn't.

Then there's modern conveniences that Volvo chooses to remain a decade behind the competition. iPhone-compatible infotainment systems (not just aux input, folks, I'm talking full-up integration). Power liftgates on the XC90/XC70/V70. Power fold-down third rows. I could go on and on, but the point remains: the technology that the consumer wants (and the competition offfers) is entirely ignored by Volvo. Instead, they bring you citysafe, adaptive cruise control, and other technologies that while interesting in their own right, people aren't knocking down dealer's doors to get them. It's the equivalent of making a 5-year old eat brussel sprouts -- sure, citysafe may be good for me, but I don't want it. I'd rather have a V60 T6 AWD manual, thank you very much.

I think that, at the end of the day, Volvo has entirely lost touch with what their consumer base wants. They think we all want safety. While that's important to us, that's not all we want. But Volvo's going to keep cramming it down your throat regardless, telling you that you don't need such silly things as performance or manual transmissions, and that's their plan to sell more cars.
 
1 - 20 of 54 Posts
Top