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5 Questions with Stefan Jacoby (President and CEO)
Just reading my March issue of Road and Track now, and noticed this short Q&A with Stefan Jacoby, the President and CEO of Volvo.
Ty for posting that link. An interesting little interview that doesn't keep me as well informed about Volvo as I'd like. Here's my thoughts and speculations since this is a forum we can discuss these things:
1) Volvo "are definitely moving upmarket." Well, it's taken them the best part of 20 odd years to get there. "Volvo is more global," yes Mr Jacoby but more so for the fact that Volvo as a brand name have a wider, more positive reputation with their buses, aerospace, trucks and heavy industrial equipment, not just by the cars alone. "Volvo need to develop a new premium brand character that is different from the Germans - if you copy them you will never be better than them.." Well frankly, it's hard to see how Volvo are not going to copy the Germans - the Germans are re-creating niches within niches it's hard to keep up as a car brand that is looking for an alternative angle.
2) "We do have the heritage of Scandinavian design which is reduced lines, elegant materials." Um, which explains the increased bulbous bits on the V40 as unnecessary? And kitting out an SUV with an all in beige/light tan interior? That's really going to go down well in a lifestyle vehicle that may see light rough ground action from time to time with the evidence of it in the interior that would have to be constantly kept clean.
3) "Human Interface Factor." How very Borg, how very "resistance to pay out for more options to broaden bluetooth and affiliated satellite guided tech and more electronics to go wrong, is futile…" This isn't just an inflection of iPad's being fitted to every car in the Volvo flagship lines, or a push to permanently place the "Volvo On-Call" feature.
4) "There is no question that the driver is in control.." Well, not with your proposed SARTRE - or SATIRE as I've come to call it - may as well just wipe out driver feel on your proposed plan as well. Everything to go electronic, run by robots or satellites yet again. Big brother is definately going to be in control, whether you like it or not.
For some strange reason, HE was chosen to take Volvo to the next level, not you, me or anyone else reading these forums.
I think we will have to agree that this guy is far more knowledgeable than all of us, combined, and he has the track record to back him up.
Let's give him the next 3 to 5 years and I am quite confident that he will have the Volvo ship pointed even at a sharper angle toward the right course.
2001 Volvo V70 T5 M SR, Classic Red/Graphite Lthr
, TME Stage II ECU, 3" Downpipe w/ Cat-back exhaust from MTE, Volvo Roadholding & Lowering Kit w/ Nivomats, 17" PEGASUS, Rear Spoiler, Dolby Surround Sound2016 V60 Polestar
For what it's worth just read this in the Swedish news where Volvo will increase to 10 models.
Volvo Plans to Double Vehicle Models in China
BusinessWeek - 1 day ago
Volvo, which currently sells 6 models in China, is planning to ... six years, including “bigger and more luxury high end” vehicles, as well as ...Volvo plans 'bigger and more luxury high end' vehicles for Chinese ...http://www.swedishwire.com/.../13504...and-more-luxur...
You +1'd this publicly. Undo
16 hours ago – Bloomberg said that Volvo Car Corp, the Swedish carmaker owned by China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., said it plans to more than ...
One has to assume that Volvo will be increasing production of the XC90 in China since BMW's X-series SUV has surged to 92% in the 1st quarter.
Tiger Moms Craving SUVs Drive Next Wave of Chinese Demand: Cars
Source: Bloomberg News
April 21, 2012
Zhou Na, a 37-year-old Beijing mother, says she knows why sport-utility vehicles are the fastest-growing segment in the world?s biggest automobile market: kids.
?I have to drive my kid around practically non-stop on Saturday,? said Zhou, who ferries her eight-year-old son to Kung Fu and English classes on weekends to the Children?s Palace of Beijing before joining her friends for yoga. ?It?s pretty tiring, but I feel very good driving my BMW X5 around.?
Zhou represents the growing army of so-called tiger moms who may fuel the next spurt of growth for the automotive industry in China, where the middle-class population is projected to double over the next decade. Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW), Daimler AG (DAI) and Ford Motor Co. (F) are among automakers unveiling new models, particularly SUVs, at next week?s Beijing International Automotive Exhibition to vie for families looking for a second vehicle to drive around children and buy groceries.
?You look at the trend for more utility and family- oriented vehicles and behind that is women,? said Bill Russo, a senior adviser at Booz & Co. and formerly Chrysler Group LLC?s China head. ?In the U.S., we call it the soccer moms.?
SUV demand in China jumped 20 percent last year, more than triple the growth in total passenger-car deliveries, according to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. SUV demand continues to outpace other vehicle segments, with sales up 18 percent in the first quarter, bucking the slump in the broader market, where deliveries fell for the first time since 2005.
Car Sales Increase
The average Chinese consumer now earns more than $4,000 a year, crossing a threshold that Macquarie Group Ltd. (MQG) says typically spurs car purchases to increase at twice the pace of income growth.
?A car parked outside follows on the heels of home ownership as part of the middle-class Chinese dream,? Janet Lewis, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Macquarie, wrote in a February report. ?Private car ownership was not common prior to 2000, but a family car is quickly becoming a desired -- and attainable -- consumer product.?
China?s middle-class population will reach 600 million to 800 million in the next 10 to 15 years, compared with about 300 million now, according to Macquarie.
?For tiger moms -- and other moms -- SUVs offer great appeal as the whole family can be transported safely and in style,? said Trevor Hale, Ford?s Shanghai-based spokesman, in reference to the nickname coined by author Amy Chua for strict Chinese mothers. ?We see great potential to grow this segment and are bringing more of our SUVs to China.?
Ford will display three SUV models at the Beijing auto show, including the Kuga that?s aimed at families with a small child. The Dearborn, Michigan-based carmaker currently sells the imported Edge SUV in China and plans to build the Kuga at a new plant in Chongqing, southwest China, Hale said.
BMW will show the X3 xDrive 28i and revamped X6 at the Beijing show, which opens to the public on April 27. Sales of BMW?s X-series SUVs surged 92 percent in the first quarter to more than 20,000 units, according to the company.
Porsche AG, which depends on the Cayenne for half of its deliveries, will show a refreshed version of the luxury SUV. Maserati will exhibit its new Kubang, which the company said it expects to go into production in 2013. Volkswagen AG (VOW)?s Lamborghini will unveil an SUV study at the Beijing show, almost two decades after discontinuing the so-called Rambo Lambo military vehicle, a person familiar with the company?s plans said in February.
?Year of SUVs?
?Automakers are swooping in with SUV models, even those that never had SUV models before,? said Zhang Zhiyong, an independent automotive analyst based in Beijing. ?The segment is getting more crowded, which will definitely lead to price competition.?
That doesn?t deter Daimler?s Mercedes-Benz, which predicts 2012 to be the ?year of the SUV? for the German carmaker, which will unveil its China-made GLK in Beijing next week. Mercedes-Benz boosted SUV sales in China by 85 percent last year, while total sales in the country rose 35 percent.
?With the rising middle class in the country, SUVs are among the most popular choices for Chinese consumers,? said Bjorn Hauber, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Mercedes-Benz (China) Ltd.
Demand for SUVs will continue to increase as more families buy their second car and the number of women owners increases, said Hui Yumei, head of automotive research at Sinotrust International Information & Consulting (Beijing) Co.
?In the past, most Chinese families had one car and it?s driven by the men,? said Hui. ?Times have changed and there?re now more women car owners. SUVs will be the most important segment for automakers in China for a long time.?
Automakers are counting on Hui?s prediction to come true after sedan sales in China declined 2.2 percent in the first quarter, weighed by record fuel prices and a slowing economy. So-called dual-purpose vehicles used to ferry goods and people have slumped 8.5 percent, while truck sales have dropped 6.8 percent, according to data from the auto association.
That?s a contrast to 2010, when overall auto demand jumped 32 percent after the government introduced subsidies and rebates. Sales then slowed to 2.5 percent last year after the incentives ran out. This year, vehicle sales will probably miss the 8 percent growth forecast by CAAM, Gu Xianghua, deputy secretary general of the state-backed auto association, said last month.
The slowdown may be short-lived. Macquarie estimates SUVs will revive annual total vehicle sales growth to at least 10 percent from next year as incomes grow, Chinese cities become increasingly urbanized and public transportation remains inadequate.
Among those driving demand may be women like Nina Zhang, a 35-year-old accountant living in Beijing, who bought a Land Rover Freelander 2 last year to run errands and take her daughter to dance and art lessons on weekends at Jingshan Park, a former imperial garden.
?We used to go away a lot to the countryside before we became parents,? said Zhang, whose husband drives a Volkswagen Magotan sedan. ?Now we don?t have as much time, but this SUV reminds us of the lifestyle that we love.?
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Yes GV, but this is a forum, is it not? And most of us are all Volvo owners are we not? You don't need a track record to back anything up, let alone knowledge of a brand. I was just putting my view point across - I still don't think Jacoby is the right person for Volvo, but as you say, yes we should see what will happen in the next 3 to 5 years.
Originally Posted by GrecianVolvo