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Here's some interesting commentary on Volvo's current state and where it fits in Ford's current situation. This is not positive commentary, though makes you think. Should Volvo push beyond the safety ceiling?<p>Read more here...<br><A HREF="http://business.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=1261642006" TARGET="_blank">http://business.scotsman.com/i...42006</A>
 

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Re: Volvo Hitting a Safety Glass Ceiling? ([email protected])

Hmmmm. This is the same link you posted regarding the C70 review on womanmotorist.com.<p>regards,<br>MAJ
 

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Re: Volvo Hitting a Safety Glass Ceiling? (digital_dreamer)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>digital_dreamer</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Hmmmm. This is the same link you posted regarding the C70 review on womanmotorist.com.<p>regards,<br>MAJ</TD></TR></TABLE><p><A HREF="http://business.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=1261642006" TARGET="_blank">http://business.scotsman.com/i...42006</A><p>M
 

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Re: Volvo Hitting a Safety Glass Ceiling? ([email protected])

This is really nothing new, just re-stating the obvious.<p>Volvo is not and will never be a glamour car.<p>Volvo is running an ageing product at a time when its chief competitors have new product.<p>Volvo needs to get back "on message" about safety.
 

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Re: Volvo Hitting a Safety Glass Ceiling? (VolvoMax)

You know, I think Volvo can extend beyond safety by building on it. When the S40 first came out, the general idea was "Feeling SAFE enough to have fun". It's a mantra that helps explain performance cars like the R models. R models will never be bread and butter, but they can and should compete with the Germans' own muscle-car brands. <p>The S40, as a perfect example, would be a great competitor in R trim to the STi, Lancer, and R32 to name a few. 300hp in the S40 platform would make a screaming ride that kids could probably talk their parents into buying them (over the Subaru and the Mitsu, which I see young kids driving almost daily). <p>Further, Ford has not brand that fully competes with the Germans and that's a big part of the market. Volvo has a credible performance reputation, could and should go after that market. It's like saying they shouldn't have built the XC90 because they're not an SUV brand, they're a safety brand. That's preposterous. SUVs are a big part of the market, thus came the XC90 and will come the XC50. Performance is not as big a part of the market, but it's enticing to the people who become brand ambassadors - the enthusiasts. Don't believe me? Look how active our R forum is compared to any others on the site, yet the Rs are sold in less numbers than many of the other new car forums. It's those owners who sell their friends on buying a lower-performance Volvo, or those cars that inspire the sale of a lower performance Volvo.<p>Sorry, you're getting me on a soapbox here, but I think Volvo has really underplayed their R potential and I believe it's a missed opportunity for not only Volvo, but also for the Ford Motor Company as a whole.
 

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Re: Volvo Hitting a Safety Glass Ceiling? ([email protected])

Most of the posts on the R page are to bitch about the car, not to praise it.<p>Fact is, Volvo doesn't know how to do serious performance cars because those cars are inherently unsafe.<br>Consider the Lancer, its a tin can on wheels. Its power to weight ratio is silly. Plus, you can get it to oversteer.<br>Volvo's hard core program is safety first and always. They would never allow such a car to be built.<br>Next, you would have the cost issue. A 300 hp S40 would cost $40,000. Thats alot more than most parents would spend for a kid.<br>Volvo is what it is. As a wise man once said, A man's got to know his limitations"<p>BTW, Volvo didn't want to make the XC90. It took Jac Nasser and Wolfgang Reitzle to make that car happen. Look how long the XC50 has taken.<br>Volvo's culture is what it is. You can't change it at this late date.<br>You have to go with the strengths of such a culture.
 

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Re: Volvo Hitting a Safety Glass Ceiling? (VolvoMax)

The XC90 is one of the most successful models in Volvo's history. Sometimes someone from outside can see through the standard operating schema to the potential beyond.
 

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It's funny that they brought up Jaguar as Ford has absolutely destroyed the Jaguar. It is one of the most unrecognizable cars out there. Nothing about it say Jaguar, it actually looks like a Ford which is no compliment.<br>Volvo says, to me, commitment to quality and standard. Sporty but conservative. Benzs are a dime dozen car. I can say it's a car I have no desire to drive, the opposite of how I felt 8 years ago. I'd rather drive a BMW and to me BMW was the wannabe car 8 years ago. Now it's flip flopped. Beamer quality, unique, Benz everybody has a cheap one. Volvo should go after the best bang for your buck market. And put radios in that can easily be switched out.
 

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Re: Volvo Hitting a Safety Glass Ceiling? ([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">Here's some interesting commentary on Volvo's current state and where it fits in Ford's current situation. This is not positive commentary, though makes you think. Should Volvo push beyond the safety ceiling?<p>Read more here...<br><A HREF="http://business.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=1261642006" TARGET="_blank">http://business.scotsman.com/i...42006</A></TD></TR></TABLE><p>Yes they should.<p>Safety is becoming democratized. BMW, MB, Lexus, everybody's in on it now. And really, when you start to look at cars starting starting to break $35,000, it's more than just how it works. It's about how you feel. A Honda Accord works just fine and is fairly safe. You can even get one with 244hp, leather, sat-nav, etc. And they're reliable and cheap to maintain. A BMW 325i has less hp, costs more to run, has less options, etc.- objectively everybody should want the Honda. But we all lust after the BMW or some other luxury model. Why? Status, style, the way it feels when you drive. We're prepared to pay a premium for that. <p>Volvo has safety and that's pretty much their main focus. Safe is good and everybody wants safety, but it's not sexy. And the brand image isn't the best in this segment. Do you want a Nurburgring killer or a soccer mom transporter? Volvo has to branch out. But if you alienate the current Volvo base, then you're in a bit of trouble. So you want improve the Volvo experience. They should still be safe, but look into these areas:<p>Design- I think they can boost their image there for relatively cheap. And they're doing a good job so far I think.<p>Handling- Volvo should copy a BMW marketing point- our cars handle so well that you can steer your way out of an accident. And then start working on that. Poach some BMW engineers or something. I would much rather have that than BLIS or active cruise control.<p>Safety- I hate these active systems that are supposed to tell you when you can change lanes, brake, accelerate for you and all that. They should spend that money on alternate materials- incorporating more CF or other materials, etc. Make the car lighter and stronger, thus safer. And it would also benefit the performance aspect as well. <p>Improve the service experience, build quality, and reliability- things that always help. <p>
 

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Re: Volvo Hitting a Safety Glass Ceiling? (eurotrash)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>eurotrash</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Safety is becoming democratized. BMW, MB, Lexus, everybody's in on it now. And really, when you start to look at cars starting starting to break $35,000, it's more than just how it works. It's about how you feel. A Honda Accord works just fine and is fairly safe. You can even get one with 244hp, leather, sat-nav, etc. And they're reliable and cheap to maintain. A BMW 325i has less hp, costs more to run, has less options, etc.- objectively everybody should want the Honda. But we all lust after the BMW or some other luxury model. Why? Status, style, the way it feels when you drive. We're prepared to pay a premium for that. <p>Volvo has safety and that's pretty much their main focus. Safe is good and everybody wants safety, but it's not sexy. And the brand image isn't the best in this segment. Do you want a Nurburgring killer or a soccer mom transporter? Volvo has to branch out. </TD></TR></TABLE><p>I don't totally agree. I think in addition to safety Volvo has something that no other car I've ever driven has and that I'm prepared to pay a premium for: great comfort and attention to every detail to make the car as user friendly as possible. No other car seat matches the Volvo seats and no other car has controls that fit so perfectly in hand and can be used so instinctively. At least that's why I always prefer Volvo over other cars that have other advantages but that I care less for.
 

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Re: Volvo Hitting a Safety Glass Ceiling? (Alex960)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>Alex960</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">I think in addition to safety Volvo has something that no other car I've ever driven has and that I'm prepared to pay a premium for: great comfort and attention to every detail to make the car as user friendly as possible.</TD></TR></TABLE><p>I agree. I have yet to sit in a car that offers better comfort than any Volvo.
 

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Re: Volvo Hitting a Safety Glass Ceiling? ([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">The XC90 is one of the most successful models in Volvo's history. Sometimes someone from outside can see through the standard operating schema to the potential beyond.</TD></TR></TABLE><p>Yes, it is.<br>It is successful because it is the BEST family transport of its kind.<br>Its not a Nurburgring killer, its not a bling mobile. It is the Volvo engineers doing what they do best.<br>If they put that kind of effort into their sedans and wagons Volvo would be healthier.<p>Volvo cannot and should not copy BMW or anyone else. People don't want copies, they want the real thing. What BMW does, works for BMW. It would not work for Volvo. BMW has spent 30+ years buildings it brand image.
 

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I read an interview with some C level at BMW the other day, and they are all about branding, they believe that in 20/30 years all will be equal, what will make the difference will be brand, that is why they have bikes, skates, clothing, watches, etc... Another point to pay attention.
 

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Re: Volvo Hitting a Safety Glass Ceiling? ([email protected])

Volvo has been and so far always will be synonimous with safety. I got in an accident in a 240 years back, and all the fire/rescue and cops that came said "At least you were in a volvo." the accident wasnt really bad at all, but they all shared stories of how they have been to x number of car accidents, and those in Volvos come out best.<p>The problem is, car safety in general has hit a ceiling. Most cars have ABS, most cars have airbags, most car frames are stronger. There is no where else Volvo can really go. While I will always say Volvo sare the safest cars on the road, other car companies are not unsafe. Audi and Subura both make very strong cars which have stood up to some punishment. Volvo was the first to make a whole bunch of industry first safety features. now the market is older, and all the car companies have been able to institue many of the features that were once unique to Volvo cars. Now, those things that made Volvo unique are standard.<p>I think Volvo needs to bring attention to their care for the environment. Put more press into how they are safe for the family and the earth. Volvo was also the first to introduce a 3 stage (or 3 something) catalytic convereter (70's or 80s I beleive), the cleanest of its time, and one that all other car companies copied and was made the standard catalytic design. I am no tree hugger, but with the rise in gas prices, the increasing interest in alternative fuels and the outcry over global warming, Volvo should bring attention to its environmental conciousness. The fact they use materials that are biodegradable, their multi-fuel car. So far, Volvo also makes one of the cleanest Diesel engines, second only to Mercedez I think, whose diesels are the only one to qualify for the new US standards.<p>Volvo should not abondon safety, thats what everyone thinks of and expects, but I believe they need to bring some attention to their environmental standards as well. And thats my novel.
 

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Re: Volvo Hitting a Safety Glass Ceiling? ([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">You know, I think Volvo can extend beyond safety by building on it. When the S40 first came out, the general idea was "Feeling SAFE enough to have fun". It's a mantra that helps explain performance cars like the R models. R models will never be bread and butter, but they can and should compete with the Germans' own muscle-car brands. <p>The S40, as a perfect example, would be a great competitor in R trim to the STi, Lancer, and R32 to name a few. 300hp in the S40 platform would make a screaming ride that kids could probably talk their parents into buying them (over the Subaru and the Mitsu, which I see young kids driving almost daily). <p>.</TD></TR></TABLE><p>George,<p>The trouble is that safety and performance are dimetrically opposed issues. 300 HP in an S40 will only encourage high speed/high risk driving and at 85 mph no stucture cage on earth will keep a car from being cut in half if it goes sideways into a tree in the rain.<p>Look at our own S60 forum, how many guys are proud and cocksure when they admit they drive 85+ mph in the rain? Personally I think it's inane, but nothing I say can change their minds. <p>Hey, it's all physics, and between "a-body-inmotion-remains-in-motion-until-affected-by-an-outside-force" and Energy = 1/2 m V^2 (m= vehicle mass, v = speed, so doubling from 40 mph to 80 mph <b> quadruples</b> energy, and the amount of bent metal in a crash is linearly proportional to energy, hence my assessment in my second sentence of this posting that no car can survive a tree at 85 mph, even a Volvo.<p>there was a perfect example about 4 years ago when an Expedition crossed into opposing traffic up by Bakersfield, it got across the median, rolled, and was sliding on its side when it was rammed into its roof by an S70; everyone died in Volvo and Expedition--the S70 structure cage was shredded back to the trunk. (OK, this wasn't the S70 driver's fault here, I'm just showing an example of the inadequacy of the safety cage at the speeds and energy cars have nowadays.)<p>So the problem is that if you bump up the 'performance' image of Volvo, you'll start to see an increase in fatality/injury rates as people drive them with insufficient safety margins, and that will only hurt Volvo's reputation because it's not as 'safe' anymore. So why spend the extra money for a Volvo, then?<p>So I don't know really if 'performance' is the way to go.<p>Oh well, it's not my job to do volvo's marketing research and figure out what their demographic is. All I can do is either buy one or not. (and right now, I'm leaning toward 'not' because I'd rather get a Tesla and go all-electric , put some solar panels on my roof, and tell Velezuela, Nigeria, and Iran to keep their oil and shove it up their butts.)<br>
 

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Re: Volvo Hitting a Safety Glass Ceiling? ([email protected])

Volvo's mistake from someone who's been driving Volvo's from Feb 1981 is they went up scale and are killing their market by over pricing there cars.<br>As stated before a Volvo is not a BMW or Mercedes it's a freaking Volvo.<br>People like I bought the car because it is safe, simple design, well built, understated looks and gets fairly good mileage considering. <br>The chances of my buying another Volvo are getting slimmer and slimmer as the months go by. I bought a 242 Turbo in 81. Traded that in in 86 for a 86 744T. Car saved my life in 87 when hit by a drunk driver. I bought a 87 745T to replace it. I still have my 87 745T with 344K miles. I picked up a 97 960 with 66K in 2005. I have zero interest in any of the newer Volvo's.<br>I was down at a dealer in S Florida last fall and was talking to the Service adviser when the subject of used rwd cars came up. They were telling me that they couldn't keep a rwd on the lot for more than a week. He was amazed that even a 240's with 200K miles plus they were still flying off the lot. He was telling me how he couldn't believe how much money people were putting in their older Volvo's because they didn't want a newer Volvo. This wasn't just the RWD's but the 850's and S70's also. The newer S60's and S80's are good looking cars they're just too expensive especially the S80's when you figure in the depreciation over 3 to 4 years. I have seen too many $38-45K S80 owners getting offered 40% or less 3 years later. Still is happening imagine buying a $44k 2004 S80 T6 in Sept 2003 put 36K miles on it and the dealer offers you less than $20K as a trade in today. Would you buy another NEW Volvo? <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/mad.gif" BORDER="0"> Plus I have heard the dealer complain about warranty claims and things that use to be covered are now challenged almost without regard to the customer.<BR><BR>
<i>Modified by pghvolvo at 5:53 PM 10-12-2006</i>
 

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<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>S40FUN</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">I read an interview with some C level at BMW the other day, and they are all about branding, they believe that in 20/30 years all will be equal, what will make the difference will be brand, that is why they have bikes, skates, clothing, watches, etc... Another point to pay attention.</TD></TR></TABLE><p>Exactly. And Volvo Cars is a company that is <i>struggling</i> to define its brand--not unlike its parent company (think Lincoln for example).<p>Coupled with that, or maybe a symptom of it, and as pghvolvo points out, Volvo has been trying to take itself upmarket. But are their products truly upmarket and or why does the market perception of their cars come up short?<p>A simple difference is that for the most part BMW, M-B, even Audi (but maybe not as much) have always been upmarket. Volvo in its largest markets (except the US) was a middle market car. In the US it was something between the middle and the top. Not a Ford but not quite a Lincoln (or a Caddy). <p>Communication across the Atlantic in the auto market is too good and the European and US markets too close these days to try to pull the wool over the consumers eyes by selling a car in one market as a safe, value oriented product that meets peoples needs in one and as an over the top, value doesn't matter, meets peoples wants in the other. When Toyota wanted to go upmarket they created the brand that they needed (very smart), they didn't just make an expensive Toyota; likewise, the Phaeton was doomed from the start. Honda and Nissan followed in their steps and all three are success stories, mostly. This is further evidenced by the resurrection of Cadillac (with a little hip-hop help <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/biggrin.gif" BORDER="0">).<p>I think Ford is a good middle market company. Their sedans, some wagons, trucks, and then SUVS have a long successful history in the medium price, value slot. They're still sucking wind trying to compete in the upper market segments.<p>They have probably missed their opportunity with Lincoln (forget about Mercury) and Volvo may not be too far behind. If Ford wants to succeed, they will give up on Volvo competing at the top end and let it be the <i>best</i> FORD that money can buy. Make lesser featured (and lower priced) FORDs for those that can't afford a Volvo and find a way to buy BMW (hint: send their folks to the same B-school that M-B does...).
 

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Re: Volvo Hitting a Safety Glass Ceiling? (pghvolvo)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>pghvolvo</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Volvo's mistake from someone who's been driving Volvo's from Feb 1981 is they went up scale and are killing their market by over pricing there cars.<p><i>Modified by pghvolvo at 5:53 PM 10-12-2006</i></TD></TR></TABLE><p><br>I hear you in regard to the evolution of the Volvo brand however, Volvo is no longer the utilitarian, boxy but safe car company it once was and for that I am also thankful <p>Back in the day, they were more like the Swedish Ford, now, they have FoMoCo to fill that role which has allowed them to focus on and develop those classic unmistakable identifiable Volvo elements as seen on the C30. <p>You can offer performance and safety all in one package. <p>Sure there will always be some idiot that drive too hard and fast and kills themselves but is it Volvo's responsibility to limit the power output of their products in an effort to ensure that they preserve their "safety" first image. <p><br><BR><BR>
<i>Modified by Shomare at 6:54 AM 10-13-2006</i>
 
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