Currently reading: Volvo: 'Economic gloom can help'
Boss says Volvo's image is more socially acceptable than BMWs or Audis

Volvo is hoping to turn the economic downturn to its advantage by repositioning itself as a premium alternative to German rivals BMW and Audi.

The Swedish firm’s chief operating officer Steven Armstrong said he believes Volvo is a more socially acceptable product at a time when wealthy car owners do not want to be seen as showing off their prosperity.

"We have a real opportunity for Volvo with respect to premium positioning," he said. "As people cut back, it becomes a little less acceptable to flaunt your money.

"Buyers who still want to reward themselves but don't want to be ostentatious give us a great opportunity.”

European Volvo sales were down by 31 per cent in 2008 and its owner Ford is currently looking into selling the firm.

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