We are seeing signs of a pulse at Volvo after the many years of decline that began under former owner Ford Motor and continued with Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, the proprietors who bought Volvo in 2010.
"This year our focus will be growth," Volvo Car Corp. CEO Hakan Samuelsson told reporters earlier this year at the Detroit auto show.
Volvo has been cost-cutting itself to near-death for so long, it’s easy to forget what a gem this Swedish brand was back when Ford bought it for $6.45-billion (U.S.) in 1999. Volvo now says it’s profitable on an operating basis and in 2013 Volvo sold a total of 427,840 vehicles, up 1.4 per cent from 2012.
Growth only happens with new products in the car business, however. Late last year we started to see some new stuff from Volvo in the form of serious updates to the S60, V60 and XC60. All good, though so far none have moved the sales needle at Volvo Canada.
More encouraging is the news on Volvo’s future product front. The latest Concept Estate has been winning awards all over, most recently Car of the Show at the Geneva Motor Show. In January, the Concept XC Coupé won the EyesOn Design for best concept car at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and last fall the Concept Coupé was named Car of the Show at the 2013 Frankfurt auto show.
Volvo’s concepts are giving everyone a look at what’s coming. What is coming? An all-new and much-anticipated XC90 SUV is due later this year.
If you want a sign of Volvo’s future, this is the rig to watch. Long-suffering Volvo fans and dealers have their fingers crossed.
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