Some very interesting points.I think this is where I will have to do some actual Volvo-bashing. It's for their own good, I swear!
The odds that it has anything to actually do with safety are long because if the driver never sees those speeds then the limiter can't save anybody. The speed limiter is most likely there to reduce costs (and therefore improve margins) long-term, allowing Volvo to use less robust and less powerful components knowing what all of their cars will be capable of, and to provide a tangible incentive for performance-minded customers to hop over to Polestar, which made a big deal to announce that they would have no such corporate limiter.
Volvo has been here before. Twice. They were not profitable enough for their original parent to keep around and they were not profitable enough for Ford to keep around. To get ahead of the usual argument that Ford mismanaged Volvo, they mismanaged their entire company up to that point and have been losing money on Lincoln for decades and they still chose to sell Volvo. Volvo is struggling for the same reason any company struggles: they are not building a product that appeals to enough people for the per-unit margins they can command, an issue compounded by several avoidable miscalculations by upper management.
Geely won't offload Volvo, though, because Volvo is the jewel in their crown and their key to accessing Western markets. The over-active part of my imagination thinks Geely is all too happy to hold back the purse and let Volvo mis-manage itself because it will ultimately increase Volvo's dependency on them and make them more willing to fully merge. It will also make Polestar, which they more directly control, increasingly relevant to shoppers.
Eeeeeh, I am going to come out swinging and call that out as empirically false. Customers wanted engines other than the 2.0L I4. They wanted to not have the 112 mph speed limiter. They wanted more physical controls inside the car. They wanted an actual follow-on to the S60/V60 Polestar and not a bunch of bolt-ons and a tuning job on a standard trim. They wanted a return of options for a wagon already certified for US consumption. They wanted ECUs that were not locked down, let alone internet-secured. None of it has materialized and none of it is going to materialize because it's not where Volvo wants to go and it's not where Geely wants Volvo to go. When we come out the other side, we will still have Volvos that are stuck with a weedy engine that is poor on fuel. We will still have 400+ HP "enthusiast" trims stuck with a 112 mph top speed and unresponsive shifting. We will still be stuck with the current capacitive-centric Sensus control schema. We might get the comfort options back, but that's not going to win new customers over to buy this sedan considering few were buying it before they were axed, especially in the US. There is still plenty of stock of new MY19s. For something niche like an Audi TT or Alfa Romeo 4C I could understand that, but not for a pedestrian luxury sedan.
For a company whose current marketing material says, and I quote, "We believe that technology should set us free – not restrict us", they sure seem to be keen at using technology to pile on the restrictions. Volvo also has such repugnant features in the pipeline as geo-fenced performance limiters! This is the kind of unwanted development you are supporting with your purchase.
Unlikely. When Audi has a model on the way out that they want to move as much as possible of, they standardize previously optional features and then, in aggregate, drop the price below what those features would have cost prior. See the outgoing A3 still on sale in the US. If Volvo really wanted move units, they would make the nicer things standard at a lower price and then drop the rest so they can stay competitive while also streamlining production, but that is not the track they are taking. All of Volvo's cuts point to saving on material costs. The T5 has less parts, is less expensive to produce, and is used in more vehicles across more markets than the T6. By axing the T6, they can reduce production of the supercharger and related components necessary to to build T6 engines destined for the US plant. Ditto why things like the R badging, paddle-equipped steering wheels, Nappa Leather seats, etc. were all cut, they are consolidating to a smaller common parts pile to reduce operating expenses. That, by the way, is also why they went all-in on touch screens from the start. It's also why Tesla does it. It's not fresh or forward-thinking, it's just cheap.
I understand it, but I view it as a situation of their own manufacture. The auto industry is hardly collapsing, especially not the well-insulated luxury side that they inhabit, and options are hardly being eliminated wholesale and certainly not even close to the same degree that Volvo has been castrating itself. All of the German marques are full-steam ahead releasing new product and adding more options; if yo've been frequenting car review channels like Autogefühl, it's been a veritable parade of new models from the Fatherland. The Hyundai group and Japanese brands like Honda and Toyota have also been absolutely killing it. No, it's the niche brands who have failed to appeal to a broad audience and which rely on large volumes of low-margin sales to stay solvent that are struggling, brands like Volvo, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Alfa Romeo, and Chrysler.
If I were in your position, I would have cancelled my order because they are delivering an inferior product to what I thought I was signing up for given the last two model years. So respect for being a fan, but the brand will only continue to decay if people keep teaching them the wrong lesson by buying despite the product getting worse. You are not helping them survive, you are only helping them die slower.
Even then, I actually have no idea why you ordered an MY21 at all when the market is still flooded with new MY19s and MY20s. One of them is bound to be what you're looking for. If it's something silly like not having the exterior styling kit, the savings all these "old" cars have from incentives would allow you to get that very same kit from Viva Performance and you'd end up with a better vehicle overall.
It will be interesting to see how the hole “ Electrification“ as the main focus and brand changes play out for Volvo.