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Volvo slashes model range – V50 out first

Fri, 28 Jan 2011

The Volvo V50 – dropped in the US

That got your attention, didn’t it? Volvo slashing their model range. What’s going on? Have they taken the whole ‘We’re not a Premium Maker – Just Swedish’ thing too far? Not quite.

Volvo has decided  that however hard they try, ‘mericans are never going to get ‘Wagons’. Or small cars. Or compact SUVs.  Not even ‘Sport Wagons’. So it looks like they’re dumping a chunk of their range currently offered for sale in the US – starting with the Volvo V50.

Volvo boss in the US – Doug Speck – has been quoted as saying that “Five or six is probably a good number”, which means the demise of four or five Volvo models from Volvo’s current US range.

You can see why Volvo – now owned by Geely – sees the need for drastic action. Their sales have fallen in recent years by two thirds in the Land of the Free – just over 50k last year – and they obviously feel there is no point continuing trying to push a wide range of models that just aren’t selling.

Part of the problem must be that Volvo has lost a part of its USP – ‘Volvo make the safest cars in the world’ – as legislation has compelled all cars to be much safer. That has meant traditional Volvo buyers casting their net wider.

But could the nub of the problem almost be the opposite to too many models? Is the problem in fact too little choice within the range?

Could it also be that Volvo buyers are actually more environmentally aware than many? And in the US in particular there seems to be little to entice the economically focused or environmentally conscious buyer to Volvo. Not even a diesel option in their entire range.

Maybe instead of playing slash and burn on their range, Volvo should get a shake on and get the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid – and any that follow – out to trendy urbanites on the coasts as soon as possible. And chuck in a diesel or three whilst they’re at it. Make their USP Eco-Quality. ’Clean Design – Clean Air – Clean Swede.’

Just a thought.

By Cars UK