Volvo Sales Numbers December 2012
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    1. #1
      Member Adrian-C30R's Avatar
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      Volvo Sales Numbers December 2012

      Muahahahaha @Chris(from Swedespeed) Got to it first! Anyways, Volvos sales numbers were good with a 15.1% increase from December 2011 and a 1.3% increase overall from 2011. You can find all the details here: https://www.media.volvocars.com/us/e...?mediaid=47237 and here for the model breakdown: https://www.media.volvocars.com/us/e...s/Current.aspx


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    3. #2
      Member bd5400's Avatar
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      At least there was a minor increase for the year.

      Sorry to be doom and gloom again but seeing all of the numbers together on Autoblog really demonstrates the uphill battle that Volvo has. 68,117 cars seems like a lot but then you look at brands like Buick, Acura, Lexus and Infiniti and see that it pales in comparison. When it comes to numbers the Germans blow them away as well. As far as sheer numbers are concerned the only premium brands that Volvo outsold were Jaguar and Land Rover. I suppose it's true that such volume is probably never in Volvos future or plans (though if they could sell that many cars I'd imagine they'd be happy to) but it still makes you wonder. As long as Tata is keeping Jaguar/Land Rover in business I'm not really worried about Volvo (even though Volvo is downmarket from them). Hopefully the 2014 numbers will be a huge improvement.

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      If you exclude discontinued models the year over year growth rate is 8%. It's not mind-blowing, but it's OK. With the C30 going away I don't expect year over year numbers next year to be very good. It will be hard to make up that volume.

      I don't think any new models come out until 2014 so next year may be a lull and the comeback so to speak would happen starting 2014. Of course, if they brought over a V40 or variant that could change things. Either way, the numbers are ok and things seem to be going in the right direction.
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      Member TrboBrik's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by filterq View Post
      Of course, if they brought over a V40 or variant that could change things. Either way, the numbers are ok and things seem to be going in the right direction.
      They would never bring the V40 over here, it is the logical thing to do.
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    7. #5
      Junior Member allnewvolvo's Avatar
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      the past few months, I've seen some great numbers from the S60 and XC60, and maintained sales from the XC90 and XC70. I am thinking that will continue a bit, since the rest of the models are becoming increasingly dull and old and out of style. Next years sales I expect to go down, but I can see it go down by 10% maybe? I hope the XC90 is discontinued right before the launch of the next generation, because without the XC90, there goes quite a bit of the Volvo line up share. It's kinda strange how the S60 overtook the XC60 by so much last month, yeah?

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      Hopefully the new 4 cylinders and a new transmission can help the S60 and XC60 get better mpgs than their competitions. V60 or V40 would be real nice too but too bad that ain't happening

    9. #7
      Member 02s60t5's Avatar
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      Here's a nice summary of sales figures for all the auto companies in the US during 2012:

      http://online.wsj.com/mdc/public/pag...autosales.html

      Specific to Volvo, the following stands out:

      - Sales were only up in 2012 because of an increase in light truck sales. Car sales were actually down compared to 2011. Will the ancient XC90 and no-longer-fresh XC60 be able to sustain this momentum in 2013? With BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, & Infiniti battling it out and heavily subsidizing their entry-level sedans, will the S60 stand a chance?

      - Volvo's market share in the US in 2012 (and 2011) was 0.5%. That's niche market territory, but with a mass market dealer & support network, and all of the associated overhead. Parts & service on the higher volume of models sold during better times has been letting the dealers limp along, but as those cars age out to the junkyard, where will the dealers find enough revenue to keep the lights on?

      Sorry for being an eternal pessimist, but there's unfortunately nothing in these sales figures to change my bearish predictions for the company in the US for the foreseeable future.
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      Quote Originally Posted by 02s60t5 View Post
      Sorry for being an eternal pessimist, but there's unfortunately nothing in these sales figures to change my bearish predictions for the company in the US for the foreseeable future.
      There is nothing wrong about being a pessimist - there IS something wrong with claiming to be a fan and constantly spewing something worrying to potential buyers who frequent this forum.

      Or is it customary - no - a mission - for all SwedeSpeed members to let potential car buyers know that they should not risk buying a Volvo because the anonymous interWeb arm-chair CEO club knows better?

    11. #9
      Member 02s60t5's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by dirtyfingers View Post
      Or is it customary - no - a mission - for all SwedeSpeed members to let potential car buyers know that they should not risk buying a Volvo because the anonymous interWeb arm-chair CEO club knows better?
      With few exceptions, this forum is full of a far more valuable source of opinion than "anonymous interWeb arm-chair CEOs." Most people posting here are intelligent beings who own or have owned multiple Volvos, and care enough about the company to provide candid feedback on the direction it has taken over the past few years. As automotive forums go, this one is far more civil, and the discussions far more intelligent, than any other that I frequent.

      I don't recall seeing any trolls around here chasing potential buyers away from the brand by posting unfounded negative remarks about the cars or the company. Unfortunately I don't see many potential buyers strolling in off the street and seeking advice either.

      Even if people here were actively slandering the brand, this forum has a negligible impact on sales figures compared to product offering, marketing campaigns, financial incentives, and professional reviews. I assure you that SwedeSpeed has nothing to do with Volvo's current predicament.
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    12. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by 02s60t5 View Post
      Here's a nice summary of sales figures for all the auto companies in the US during 2012:

      http://online.wsj.com/mdc/public/pag...autosales.html

      Specific to Volvo, the following stands out:

      Sales were only up in 2012 because of an increase in light truck sales. Car sales were actually down compared to 2011.
      I'm not sure I would take stock in anyone's ranting that doesn't even check the figures. Sales were up YoY. Also, Volvo cars could care less what Volvo trucks is doing, so I'm not sure why he's even talking about that. I'd expect better from the wall street journal which used to do a good job with business news.

      It's also impossible to comment on the dealerships without having any metrics on them or what they're doing with respect to servicing and parts sales as well.
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    13. #11
      Member 02s60t5's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by filterq View Post
      I'm not sure I would take stock in anyone's ranting that doesn't even check the figures. Sales were up YoY. Also, Volvo cars could care less what Volvo trucks is doing, so I'm not sure why he's even talking about that. I'd expect better from the wall street journal which used to do a good job with business news.
      The numbers in the Wall St Journal table match the numbers in the initial post exactly, so which figures do you believe are wrong? "Light Trucks" in this context refers to the XC60 and XC90, not the tractor trailers.
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      Quote Originally Posted by 02s60t5 View Post
      The numbers in the Wall St Journal table match the numbers in the initial post exactly, so which figures do you believe are wrong? "Light Trucks" in this context refers to the XC60 and XC90, not the tractor trailers.
      Sorry, I miss-understood the truck reference. The comment still makes no sense. If I'm Volvo what do I care if I sell more XC60s and less S40s. Margins are higher on the XC60s, so they would be making more money. It's not a bad thing.
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    15. #13
      Moderator R Salesman's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by filterq View Post
      Sorry, I miss-understood the truck reference. The comment still makes no sense. If I'm Volvo what do I care if I sell more XC60s and less S40s. Margins are higher on the XC60s, so they would be making more money. It's not a bad thing.
      Well, the point (that you missed) is:

      1) The only sales figures that were up were the XC90 & the XC60 (car sales went down)
      2) The XC90 is a decade old, with no new replacement readily available
      3) The XC60 needs to be refreshed in order to continue its current sales pace
      4) As vehicle models age, they tend to sell in smaller numbers
      5) Car sales are already on a downward trend, with heavy competition, and no new models on the horizon to bolster car sales

      Therefore:
      Volvo will most likely continue its downward trend in sales.

      I hope this helps to clarify what I understood to be 02s60t5's point.
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    16. #14
      Moderator R Salesman's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by dirtyfingers View Post
      There is nothing wrong about being a pessimist - there IS something wrong with claiming to be a fan and constantly spewing something worrying to potential buyers who frequent this forum.

      Or is it customary - no - a mission - for all SwedeSpeed members to let potential car buyers know that they should not risk buying a Volvo because the anonymous interWeb arm-chair CEO club knows better?
      Respectfully, I'll suggest that your viewpoint is a little short-sighted, Mr. 19 Posts.

      When you've owned upwards of 20+ different Volvos for nearly 2 decades and have worked for the company for the better part of 1 decade, you tend to have more breadth & depth of experience in the brand and it's history than a newcomer. And for those of us that have been with the brand for such a long period, we've seen a lot of red flags raised since roughly the mid-2000's. Volvo has had a lot of missed opportunities, and has made a lot of poor decisions that has led it to the massive sales decline it is currently in.

      02s60t5's quote here was spot-on:
      Quote Originally Posted by 02s60t5
      Volvo's market share in the US in 2012 (and 2011) was 0.5%. That's niche market territory, but with a mass market dealer & support network, and all of the associated overhead.
      CEO's run companies into the ground ALL THE TIME, so yes, there's actually quite a few of us here who would most certainly do a better job getting Volvos to sell in the US than those currently in charge. CEO's aren't good head's of businesses . . . they're primarily just good con-artists that get paid millions to destroy companies.
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      Last I checked the S60 is a car and it's sales are up as well - but that's beside the point.

      They sold more units this year than last and they sold more expensive products, so Revenue (which is what really matters) is up. No replacement for the XC90 will hurt. I believe the XC60 and S60 will be refreshed, so that should help a little (as long as they do a good job).

      All this fretting that Volvo will shut down the lights because they aren't selling enough S80s and C30s is silly. It's like if Ford started fretting because they were selling less Focuses and more F150s.
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    18. #16
      Global Moderator GrecianVolvo's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by 02s60t5 View Post
      Sorry for being an eternal pessimist, but there's unfortunately nothing in these sales figures to change my bearish predictions for the company in the US for the foreseeable future.
      Sorry but what downward trend? In a challenging year, for Volvo, things started to turn around in the past few months. YoY sales were up, not down. December 2012 trounced December 2011 results.

      The establishment of a true captive finance arm (Volvo Cars Financial Services) was also a true boost not only for December but going forward as well.

      Yes, the product line needs revamping and/or refreshing and I can assure you there will be no more examples like the current XC90 and the previous S60. 2013 will mark the beginning of quite a few changes and the pace will only pick up from there.

      Being a small company has its advantages but also its disadvantages in that it needs to stay profitable and big leaps are tough to implement, especially in the initial cycle of recovery from the edge of the abyss, where VOLVO came from.
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    19. #17
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      Quote Originally Posted by filterq View Post

      They sold more units this year than last and they sold more expensive products, so Revenue (which is what really matters) is up.
      Actually I would think that profit, not revenue, is what's really important in both the short term and long term for Volvo. Sure, Volvo could potentially sell a ton of V40s here but one of the arguments that's been going around is that they'd never be able to price it properly in the U.S. They could price it appropriately and that could potentially swell their revenues but it wouldn't necessarily swell their profits due to the cost of producing and importing the vehicle. Or they could price it so that it's profitable which may end up hurting sales.

      I do get your point though. The big concern, for me at least, is that the total volume of vehicles they are selling is not sustainable. It's not just a matter of making a profit. You need to make enough profit to finance improvements, new models, research, etc. If new products were 5-7 years away or Volvo was an independent company with no backer there would probably be far more reason to worry about them actually failing in the U.S. market. Thankfully Volvo has the backing of Geely and it's been mentioned that new products, while not necessarily coming out this year, should start hitting the year after. As long as brand perception isn't damaged the S60 and XC60 should hopefully hold everything over. It's still a little worrisome however when so many things are up in the air (new products, outgoing products, future engine choices, where they will place themselves in the market, etc). Uncertainty breeds doubt and doubt is not something you want your faithful fans to have.

    20. #18
      Moderator R Salesman's Avatar
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      As always, GrecianVolvo raises some good points, particularly regarding Volvo Car Finance being back in the game. And for what it's worth, I recognize the YoY sales increase (my attempt was to explain more clearly 02s60t5's point).

      bd5400 also makes some going points:
      Quote Originally Posted by bd5400
      Sure, Volvo could potentially sell a ton of V40s here but one of the arguments that's been going around is that they'd never be able to price it properly in the U.S.
      The problem that Volvo has always faced is the exchange rate to the USD. Why do you think that every successful foreign auto manufacturer has established US-based production services? In part, it helps reduce cost and also helps to bypass exchange rate fluctuations. After the US financial collapse, Volvo (which was still a fairly strong company at the time) had the opportunity to establish US production facilities for pennies on the dollar -- but they didn't. I think that decision was one of the worst strategic decisions the company has made, and that decision has significantly contributed to Volvo's difficulty in offering profitable cars to the US market.

      Volvo's difficulty in offering profitable cars has forced them into reducing their product offering, which leads to this:

      Quote Originally Posted by bd5400
      It's still a little worrisome however when so many things are up in the air (new products, outgoing products, future engine choices, where they will place themselves in the market, etc). Uncertainty breeds doubt and doubt is not something you want your faithful fans to have.
      I didn't buy two brand new 2013 Volkswagens because I doubted Volvo. I consider myself to have been amongst the most loyal to the brand. I bought two new VWs because Volvo no longer sells a vehicle that would meet my needs, and no longer sells a vehicle that I would want to buy. Now, Volvo does make cars that would fit my needs and I'd want to buy, but they won't import them to the US.

      So Volvo has succeeded in turning some very loyal customers into happy owners of different brands. That's not a good business model.
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    21. #19
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      More year-end sales data, specifically related to "Compact Luxury Sport Sedans"

      http://wot.motortrend.com/bmw-3-seri...rd-310239.html

      Code:
      Model  			December 2012 	December 2011 	Year-to-Date
      BMW 3 Series 		10,745 		8489 		99,602 	
      Mercedes-Benz C-Class 	7757 		7744 		81,697 	
      Infiniti G Sedan/Coupe 	5516 		6531 		59,844 	
      Audi A4/A5 		5378 		4995 		55,800 	
      Acura TL 		2246 		3283 		33,572 	
      Acura TSX 		2142 		3546 		28,865 	
      Lexus IS 		2497 		3629 		27,708 	
      Buick Regal 		1526 		3086 		24,616 	
      Volvo S60 		2344 		1951 		23,356 	
      Cadillac ATS 		2979 		N/A 		7,008
      This shows that the S60 sales are near the bottom of the segment for the year, but, as pointed out by others, did improve late.

      Looking at December - Acura, Lexus, and Buick really suffered, the ATS came out of the gate strong, and the new 3-Series flew off the lots.
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      While it would be great to see the S60 sell as much as the A4/5 it will take some time to get there. All the press on the car keeps on being strong and as long as they can keep that going it will help build it's brand and eventually we can see those numbers near the leaders.

      It will be interesting to see how things go next quarter. Monthly numbers are nice but it's hard to get a good feel for how things are really going without at least a full quarter of figures.

      It would also be good to see these numbers (especially when comparing to other companies) with the number of dealerships to give more context. I looked around for the number of dealerships for Volvo in the US but couldn't find it. I know they have 39 in Canada.
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    23. #21
      Global Moderator GrecianVolvo's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by filterq View Post

      It would also be good to see these numbers (especially when comparing to other companies) with the number of dealerships to give more context. I looked around for the number of dealerships for Volvo in the US but couldn't find it. I know they have 39 in Canada.

      315 in the U.S.

      At the same time, keep in mind how may advertising dollars are spent by Audi, Lexus, Infiniti and Acura (all backed by giants) plus big companies like Mercedes-Benz and BMW vs. what an independent, small company like Volvo can.
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      Quote Originally Posted by GrecianVolvo View Post
      315 in the U.S.

      At the same time, keep in mind how may advertising dollars are spent by Audi, Lexus, Infiniti and Acura (all backed by giants) plus big companies like Mercedes-Benz and BMW vs. what an independent, small company like Volvo can.
      Volvo has managed to start turning around its brand image upwards the past couple of years; and their newest models with their trendy styling have benefited most from this. The s60 clearly has begun to be considered as a strong contender in its segment, albeit not yet reaching German sales levels naturally.

      What volvo needs to do is first and foremost to continue investing in their cars to include the latest in technology especially in drivetrain and infotainment. One major reason I believe that the s60 and xc60 are selling well is the significant improvement in handling compared to their predecessors. However, they still do not have good steering, with non-linear and lifeless steering. They need to continue working on that if they want to attract new customers such as myself, who are seeking an engaging drive. Im waiting for the v40 to test drive it soon to see if they have finally succeeded in injecting some life into the steering, at least to vw levels, I think the steering is THE most important aspect of a decent drive and volvo should realize this soon enough.

    25. #23
      Global Moderator GrecianVolvo's Avatar
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      Good observations and, mostly, right on. In my opinion, The R-design models are "right there" with regards to handling, steering input, etc. The base models are still pretty good, especially with the S60.

      Technology definitely needs to keep improving and I think the near future results will be impressive.
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      One key advantage of the giant volume brands not yet broached here is their ability to invest in manufacturing facilities. Short term declines in sales volumes can erode investment in new, competitive equipment. Perhaps the most telling insight into Volvos future would be the $$$ investment by Geely in key manufacturing facilities. Without continued advancements YoY, Volvo engineers and manufacturing will quickly struggle to compete in cost and fit-and-finish. That being said, those have both been incredibly competitive in my Volvos and that is an awesome reflection on engineering and labor at the heart of Volvo. Robots are expensive. Has anyone else wondered why some competitors do not have vastly superior performance in these categories when their mother companies heartily invest in their manufacturing facilities? It is a clear reflection of the quality of personnel behind the badge.
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    27. #25
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      Quote Originally Posted by R Salesman View Post

      CEO's run companies into the ground ALL THE TIME, so yes, there's actually quite a few of us here who would most certainly do a better job getting Volvos to sell in the US than those currently in charge. CEO's aren't good head's of businesses . . . they're primarily just good con-artists that get paid millions to destroy companies.
      THIS!! I wish more people would realize this point not just for volvo but in business overall.

    28. #26
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      Quote Originally Posted by GrecianVolvo View Post
      Good observations and, mostly, right on. In my opinion, The R-design models are "right there" with regards to handling, steering input, etc. The base models are still pretty good, especially with the S60.

      Technology definitely needs to keep improving and I think the near future results will be impressive.
      I dont know about the T6-it costs about $200K here so not even volvo imports it- but my friends' s60 D2 powershift has an artificial steering which does not give confidence compared to my company passat 2.0D which has a much more natural feeling and linear steering than the volvo, this alone put me off of the s60. The chassis is better though, but its not too difficult to better the passat in that area, it neither is comfy nor sporty, the volvo is actually pretty good in handling.

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