New Volvo boss wants to end its quest to be considered premium and come up with a new plan

Volvo must abandon its quest to be considered ‘premium’ and come up with a new strategy, according to the firm’s recently installed boss, Stefan Jacoby.

The Swedish manufacturer is re-evaluating its product plan in the wake of its takeover by Chinese firm Geely. Jacoby believes it needs to stop chasing the ‘premium’ market high ground currently held by BMW, Audi and Mercedes.

“Let’s ditch this talk about premium,” said Jacoby. “It sounds like a pricing strategy and it’s got an expensive ring to it. We need to focus on elegant Scandinavian simplicity, our own unique identity, and not copy our competitors.”

Read more on the clash over Volvo's future

Jacoby is targeting 800,000 sales per year by 2020, more than double the 380,000 units that Volvo expects to sell in 2010. He says that re-establishing the firm’s strength in the US market will be a crucial part of his plan.

“We have lost ground in the US,” explained the Volvo chief exec. “We are at the bottom, looking up.”

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29 November 2010

[quote Autocar]Let’s ditch this talk about premium,” said Jacoby[/quote]

Finally - someone with a bit of sense. In my childhood - late 60s and early 70s Volvos had a reputation for solidity, comfort and safety. Not bad qualities to aim for I think. Doesn't mean that a 'non-prestige' car cannot be interesting.

29 November 2010

This Mr Jacoby is on the ball.I hope his wise words and strategy are put in place for Volvo's sake

29 November 2010

I hope this means Volvo will focus on integrity rather than perceived poshness, but surely this is crazy talk? Who wouldn't want people to think their product is "premium"?

29 November 2010

[quote scrap]

I hope this means Volvo will focus on integrity rather than perceived poshness, but surely this is crazy talk? Who wouldn't want people to think their product is "premium"?

[/quote]

I agree, what I think (hope) he is trying to say is that they will still be a premium brand but with no obvious rivals. I think if Saab thought this way too, they would also start making more focused cars, and better express what the brand name is all about.

Cant really see where they are coming from anyway, to me their lastest model the s60/v60 screams 'Volvo' rather than a german saloon/estate imitation.

29 November 2010

[quote Flash Harry]This Mr Jacoby is on the ball.I hope his wise words and strategy are put in place for Volvo's sake[/quote]

There's far too much innuendo going on here! Flash Harry says "Mr Jacoby is on the ball."

Mr Jacoby says "We are the bottom, looking up."

Oh dear.....

29 November 2010

Premium is not a tag you can give yourself ... you have to earn it. Volvo have had a great reputation based on safety, qualtiy and even good design .... but to suddenly move yourself upmarket by raising your prices and saying that just because your car now costs the same as a Merc that it is worth the extra outlay and that is because you are now 'Premium' is just wrong.

The market decides when you are 'Premium'. BMW trod the path for 40 years and has now earnt the moniker. There are only a few brands who have always been premium and that is because all they have ever made were high end or highly engineered products throught their history, Mercedes, Ferrari, Bentley and Rolls Royce.

Volvo should ditch 'Premium' for sure, let the customers decide if they want to buy £40k Volvo's .... I am sure if they can get cars like the 850 updated for the teens for £25k then you will be beating customers off with a stick.

29 November 2010

Is this some kind of gradual campaign to justify production to China??

29 November 2010

The interesting thing to me is that this seems the exact opposite of what Volvo's Chinese owners stated. They said that they bought Volvo as a premium brand and wanted to introduce a larger,more upmarket model to the Chinese market They will need to add bling in the Chinese market model.

While agreeing that they have to break the impression that they are following, or chasing the premium brands, I don't think he intends to turn Volvo into Suzuki...

They have to create a new image of a design led, almost minimalist Swedish design language. I think we'll see some interesting, and hopefully attractive designs out of Volvo. Sweden thinks of itself as a classless society, therefore Premium has the wrong connotation. Quality in design and reliability is treasured. Great perceived value and quality, on trusted reliable mechanics.

This is high risk, especially when we see more cautious design trends like the " one design, three sizes" of the German manufacturers Audi, VW, BMW now Ford with the Fiesta /Focus.

Thank goodness for the Fiat 500,Mini, Nissan Juke and Leaf, and Nano.


29 November 2010

[quote ischiaragazzo]

[quote Autocar]Let’s ditch this talk about premium,” said Jacoby[/quote]

Finally - someone with a bit of sense. In my childhood - late 60s and early 70s Volvos had a reputation for solidity, comfort and safety. Not bad qualities to aim for I think. Doesn't mean that a 'non-prestige' car cannot be interesting.[/quote]

I wholly agree, one might go as far to say that those qualities are the very essence of a premium product. Before the 90s, Volvo had these qualities in abundance, and people did regard them in the same sentence as Mercedes, indeed it was a case of 260 TE or 760 GLE estate. This is where they need to return to, back to the days of discrete 'premium': making classless vehicles that had all of the qualities of the perceived premium segment offerings. The 90s saw too many manufacturers wanting to be premium, and many are the worse for it now. Even the Golf, (MKII) was a very classless car that was as comfortable on the Kings Road as a Tesco car park. Now it is perceived to be a more premium product whilst looking uncomfortable, or rather invisible, in both. Now they are probably more at home in a new build cul-de-sac in Bracknell than anywhere else. The same can be argued with the S60 and S80. They now look unfcomfortable in certain environments (S80 makes you think Airport transfer, S60 - couldn't afford a 5 series, which is wrong I know) whereas the 740/760, for all of their shortcomings, still have distinction and class. They are small points, but seeing certain cars in these environments does make sense. It's the difference between a 500 and a Mini. If Volvo can crack the balance between their modern dynamics with their more traditional values, they might have a major success on their hands.

29 November 2010

If you read his whole quote, not just the word 'premium', it makes a lot of sense. Stop trying to compare yourself to the Germans, which will only ever lead to disappointment, and go back to being Volvo.

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