The new owners of Volvo want to see the company build flagship executive cars to compete directly with BMW and Mercedes.
Speaking shortly after taking control of Volvo from Ford, Geely boss Li Shufu said he wanted to see the Swedish carmaker make more “high level cars that compete with the Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7-series”.
Shufu told a press conference in London that Volvo had the technology and research capabilities to compete at the top end of the market as well as demand higher retail prices.
Shufu’s also made clear that a push into the booming Chinese car market would demand luxury that Chinese customers could “see through their eyes and touch with their hands”.
However, such comments also indicate the pressure the new Volvo board (and new, ex-VW, boss Stephan Jacoby) will be under to retain Volvo’s Scandinavian brand values as well as appeal to China’s more glitzy tastes.
Geely paid just over £1bn to buy the loss making company and reportedly wants to nearly double sales from last year’s 335,000 units. Volvo made losses of around £400m last year, but says that a relatively modest increase in sales should tip it back into profit. See all the latest Volvo reviews, news and video