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Volvo Rules Out Launching Flagship To Take On 7-Series And S-Class

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Volvo Rules Out Launching Flagship To Take On 7-Series And S-Class

By Viknesh Vijayenthiran


October 31st, 2010

2003 Volvo VCC Enlarge PhotoWe’ve heard it all before but rarely have we seen it executed successfully; mid-tier luxury brands attempting to move upmarket and compete with tier 1 brands such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Acura is one such company that has often stated reaching tier 1 status as its primary goal but has still failed to deliver and now Volvo, under the guidance of new owner Geely, is hoping to tread down that same path.

The only difference is that Volvo insists it won’t be rushing into anything. With fears of another flop like the Phaeton, former Volkswagen of America boss Stefan Jacoby doesn’t want to repeat any mistakes at his new post as CEO of Volvo.

In keeping with this philosophy Jacoby admits that it’s “too early” for Volvo to be building high-end cars that would rival the likes of the BMW 7-series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. This is despite Geely founder and chairman Li Shufu previously mentioning those two particular models as future rivals for Volvo.

Instead Volvo will focus on improving its global reputation, especially in China, and step up research and development efforts in order to maximize sales and return to profitability. Another key task is to build up volume. As Jacoby revealed in a recent interview with Autocar, Volvo would need to be selling at least 800,000 cars per year before any upmarket models would even be considered.

Pictured above is the 2003 Volvo VCC concept car, which at one point was believed to be a preview of a new flagship model to be called the XC100. It was expected to feature an advanced hybrid powertrain and establish a new luxury crossover niche similar to what BMW has done with the 5-Series GT and to a lesser extent what Mercedes-Benz originally did with the R-Class.




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Yes or No? Jacoby reportedly says Volvo isn't ready for a 7 Series rival

by Chris Shunk (RSS feed) on Nov 1st 2010 at 11:32AM

Just days after Geely purchased Volvo from Ford, the Chinese automaker's chairman, Li Shufu, proclaimed that the Swedish automaker needed a 7 Series fighter. Shufu's idea makes a lot of sense, at least in the large car-loving China market, where Volvo leadership wants to push a lot more metal. But when Shufu stated that Volvo needed to go big, he admitted that he needed to sell the idea to the company's new board. According to Autocar there is at least one very important vote that doesn't like the idea – at least not yet.

New Volvo CEO Stefan Jacoby reportedly called the idea of a Volvo that can go toe to toe with a Mercedes-Benz S-Class "a step too early." The British site claims that Jacoby prefers to hold off on going further upscale until after Volvo reaches its goal of 800,000 sales per year within the next five years.

So who's right here? Shufu undoubtedly knows the China market very well, and he's thinking that the key to China's collective heart comes in the form of a sedan with a lot of rear leg room. Jacoby, on the other hand, is taking a more pragmatic approach; use the company's funds to spur overall growth and then look upmarket once the company reaches its volume goals. Add in the fact that Jacoby already experienced first-hand how tough it can be to bring a new large luxury vehicle to market (Volkswagen Phaeton, anyone?), and we can see why the new Volvo CEO is preferring to play it slow.



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"too early" ...for a direct competitor to the 7er and S-class



imho Volvo would've benefitted greatly from a larger car back when the VCC was shown - before the EEKonomic meltdown

since 2003 what have they accomplished?

When will they ever START?


forget about dreaming/imagination/innovation/TRYING ... just keep reaching lower, Volvo

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the current S80 is a botched product.

it's not a 'bad' product but it's not eurolux at its best. It's sort of like a European Acura RL.

Volvo cannot compete with the S Class, nor should it.

Volvo has all it can handle to stay on the radar with the large number of models it already has.

The S80 could really fill a nice niche in the luxury segments if they did it correctly. To have an S80 AND an S Class competitor would be asinine.

I would like to point out here that it probably would have made sense for Volvo and Saab to join forces, each take the markets the other is not best at, and try to coexist sharing technology but not market segments.

I guess its the same thing if Saab shares with BMW, but at the same time I am not sure BMW will give Saab the best of what its got.

Volvo going Chinese will either sink them or make them rock.

Edited by regfootball

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By Nick Aziz

The ink was barely dry on Geely’s deal to acquire Volvo when Li Shufu, co-chair of the Chinese automaker, said it would soon be time for the Swedish brand to market a 7-Series rival. But 4 months later, Volvo’s top executives say now is not the time.

It’s simply “too early” in the company’s product renaissance for a vehicle designed to compete with BMW’s 7-Series of Mercedes’ S-Class, said Volvo CEO Stefan Jacoby.

It’s a “step too early,” Jacoby told U.K. car magazine Autocar. He went on to say only after Volvo reaches its goal of 800,000 annual sales might a 7-Series competitor make sense.

It seems Jacoby wants to avoid the trap of building a high-end luxury car that no one wants. Volkswagen did it with the Phaeton, which was a superb car, but severely lacking in prestige.

Volvo is still in the process of recreating its image, following the launch of the stylish new S60 sedan. Jacoby said it’s essential for the company to differentiate itself from the German luxury brands. “We need to stop copying the Germans,” Jacoby told the magazine. “We should express what Scandinavia stands for.”

As part of its strategy to stand out from the crowd, Volvo is rumored to be considering scrapping its V8 and even its V6 offerings, in favor of four- and five-cylinder motors.



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