Stefan Jacoby, Volvo’s new boss, opened up the motor show here in LA with a keynote speech.
True to form he delivered the standard CEO speech, too. He wants Volvo to double its sales to 800,000 units by 2020 and he was promising lower CO2, EVs and hybrids as well.
What really made me overcome the jetlag and sit up though was when he said: “Let’s ditch talk about premium as it’s got an expensive ring to it.” Jacoby then went on to say the Volvo was “going to stand out from the crowd by not copying its competitors”.
This is exactly what I wanted to hear. Volvo’s now spent too long chasing Merc, Audi and BMW and failing miserably. Buyers have voted with their feet too. Volvo has forgotten how to be Volvo and the cars are nothing like as appealing or popular as a result.
Jacoby’s vision is to deliver “a special kind of Scandinavian luxury”. I took that to mean a return to Volvo’s old values of stylish, comfortable cars that are desirable because they’re unique. Not because they’re a slightly cheaper and inferior Mercedes.
I can’t wait to see if he can deliver it under Chinese ownership.