Volvo needs to redefine its brand, “stop copying the Germans” and more than double sales to 800,000 by 2020, the firm’s new CEO has revealed.
Stefan Jacoby, who took up his new post in August, told Autocar that Volvo needs to “focus on luxury” and “has lost its distinguishing points in its products”.
The ex-VW USA chief said: “You can immediately recognise you’re sitting in a BMW or an Audi and I don’t think Volvo is there yet. Volvo at the moment is not sharp enough or in harmony with what the brand stands for. It needs to return to its Swedish roots — not so much sporty but more functional with Swedish and Scandinavian elegance.”
Volvo will spend the next six months putting together a strategy to expand in both established markets and emerging regions such as China.
The company is also rethinking its platform strategy. “We’re questioning this,” he said. “We may come down to two or even one platform.”
On styling, Jacoby said: “Simplicity is the key. We need to stop copying the Germans. We should express what Scandinavia stands for: high values for human beings, strong social security and welfare. We don’t have to be the same size or have the same package.”
Jacoby considers engines a “core competence”. A new modular family of petrols and diesels is on the way. V8s will be dropped and even six-cylinder units could go, in favour of four-pots and perhaps five-cylinder units. EVs and hybrids will be a “major pillar” of its future, hence the 1000 C30 EVs trialling shortly and V70 plug-in hybrid for 2012.