Volvo to Edit U.S. Lineup: V50 and Others Out, XC30 In (Eventually)
Car and Driver
January 27, 2011
by Justin Berkowitz
With Volvo’s new Chinese ownership and new CEO, the company is shifting its strategy away from selling low volumes across a large lineup of higher-profit products. Speaking with Bloomberg, Volvo’s U.S. president Doug Speck said that it makes more sense for the company to pick a few core models and sell those in greater numbers. He confirms that three or four models will be cut from the company’s current nine-car U.S. lineup. This should help lower overhead, concentrate advertising, build product awareness, and avoid the high costs of federalizing numerous models.
The first model to get the axe will be the sensible V50 wagon, which managed to be outsold last year in the U.S. by the not-so-sensible $189K Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. With the V50 headed to Helheim in a handbasket, the rest of the lineup is under scrutiny. The current-generation S80 sedan never got traction like the first one did, and, with an unduly cramped interior and a high price, is largely made obsolete by the new S60. The compact S40 sedan—the four-door version of the V50—is also a slow seller, and last year the C30 was outsold ten-to-one by the Volkswagen GTI. Although the company has indicated that Europeans will see their C30 lineup expand to include a five-door model, we’re not optimistic about its arrival on American shores.
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