Currently reading: Volvo 'can be a top brand'
New Volvo boss wants the firm to act quickly to enter the "top league of premium brands"

Volvo can use its new-found independence to react quickly to market demands and enter "the top league of premium brands", according to the firm's new CEO.

Ex-VW USA chief Stefan Jacoby started his role at the Swedish manufacturer on Monday, just under three weeks after the firm was taken over by Chinese firm Geely.

Read more on Geely's plans to take Volvo upmarket

He declined to make sales projections for the troubled brand during his first official press conference, joking that he would need "at least another 48 hours" to come up with precise figures. But he said the fact that Volvo was no longer tied to a major manufacturer would bring challenges and opportunities in equal measure.

"Scale of economies is a key factor in having a competitive manufacturer base," he said. "But what we also know is that size and volume can also bring complexities, and reduce speed. This is the opportunity that we have now, as a little 'David' in the industry of giants.

Read Autocar's full road test of the new Volvo S60

"It means that we can be lean and quick. We have advantages and we have to look for smart, intelligent solutions. There will be opportunities to co-operate with different suppliers, and with our sister firm Geely. And the Chinese investment offers the chance to source in the Chinese market."

Jacoby added, "It will be an interesting journey ahead, and it won't always go exactly how we have planned it. But I'm very committed to bringing Volvo to where it belongs - and it belongs in the top league of premium brands."

Watch Autocar's 90-second Volvo S60 video review

He also moved to quell speculation that surfaced during the Volvo sale that it could be swallowed up by the Geely brand altogether. "I think our new owner has a very good understanding of the automotive industry," he said, "and it knows the value of the Volvo brand. It makes no sense to merge this brand; instead, you need to develop it further. I think there is no misunderstanding on that point."

John McIlroy

See all the latest Volvo reviews, news and video

Join the debate

Add a comment…
Sam_notts 18 August 2010

Re: Volvo 'can be a top brand'

I don't think the message really states that Volvo want to mix it with 'the best'. Volvo are comfy cruisers, it really depends how you look at a car to how you judge it as better than a rival. While some may like the edgy handling of a BMW, others may require a comfortable place to be in, smooth ride quality, style (not clinical) and the assurance you are driving one of the worlds safest cars.

Saab is nothing like Volvo, how many other car brands competing at the premium level only have two models in the range (one of them being dire). Volvo has an extensive range and Geely has brought a company with more or less a full line up of excellent cars.

I do agree to the article last week though, Volvo need a 7 series/XJ rival.

Come on, if there wasn't Volvo, Jaguar, Infiniti which each have there own niche and personality over the German rivals it would be a particularly plain and dull sector.

As for a change in perception.. I think the brand is defiantly seen as a more established brand than it was ten years ago.

Peter Cavellini 18 August 2010

Re: Volvo 'can be a top brand'

How?, Geely want VOLVO to build a ROLLS ROYCE!,Geely really need to loook at te European markets a bit more closely.

Addy Go Fast 18 August 2010

Re: Volvo 'can be a top brand'

No chance!

Volvo and Saab sadly will sit for evermore in their respective places, can't see it changing anytime soon, however much marketing they do.

It's the same as the idiots out there who still say a new Alfa is going to rust and fall to pieces!

People's perceptions are hard to change when it comes to cars, particularly when they start thinking about the past.

Look how much a used (and not very old) Volvo or Saab is worth - the mass market demand is not there for them.