Volvo S80:

Volvo Growth Strategy – New Management, New Strategy, New Drive-E Powertrains, New Vehicles

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Volvo Growth Strategy: Tony Nicolosi, new President and CEO of Volvo Cars of North America says 90% of the senior management of VCNA is new since he took over in October 2013. Volvo’s marketing strategy is also going to change with the arrival in January of Bodil Eriksson as executive vice president of marketing and new advertising agency Grey London starting in March. Nicolosi says Volvo will return to its roots emphasizing safety, the environment and the family. The marketing budget for 2014 is bigger by about 50% but its emphasis will shift away from television to digital messaging.

Prior to becoming head of VCNA, Nicolosi was head of Volvo Finance in the USA, so he is very familiar with the leasing game. About 42% of Volvos are leased, well short of the leasing penetration of Audi, BMW or Mercedes. Going forward, Volvo’s lease penetration should increase with more concentration on more car for the payment and regular replacement. This will give Volvo dealers the first shot at putting off-lease customers into a new Volvo.


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Let's Talk Cars: Automotive Futures Center and the Volvo S80 Test Drive

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Welcome to Let’s Talk Cars

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This week VehicleVoice introduces you to AutoPacific’s Automotive Futures Center in Southern California. The analysts and experts of AutoPacific do in-person research at the this facility that is one-of-a-kind kind in the world. AutoPacific clients from the USA, Europe, Japan, Korea and China use thte Automotive Futures Center to identify what American consumers really want in their next cars and trucks.
Also on tap, we begin a new occasional series called Test Drive, where we spotlight a specific vehicle and a specific destination. This week it’s the Volvo S80 and the Colorado Rockies, where there’s still plenty of snow to add a twist to our test drive. David Barrett is behind the wheel and takes you for a spin from Denver to Rocky Mountain National Park. This is a last look at the venerable S80 in this guise. The S80 is due for a major freshening later in 2006.
Show Rundown
00:32 AutoPacific’s Autotive Futures Center: George Peterson, President and Founder and Jim Hossack, Vice President and Senior Consultant
03:35 Volvo S80 Test Drive: David Barrett, VehicleVoice Contributor


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First Pictures: 2007 Volvo S80

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Worldwide Introduction Set for Geneva
The aging Volvo S80 gets a major update for the 2007MY, and Volvo has released some initial data ahead of its auto show introductions in Geneva (March) and New York (April). Sales in the States don’t begin until the end of 2006. Though AutoPacific and VehicleVoice correspondents won’t have the opportunity to get our hands on the updated S80 for several months, we do have some first impressions to share.
The original S80 established the modern Volvo design motif that has evolved through the lineup from S80 down to the upcoming C30. Elegant and expressive, the Volvo cues have given the cars an at-a-glance identity. The new S80 is clearly a Volvo, but may be too close in execution to its smaller stablemate the S60. Volvos are known as practical, safe, family cars and to the extent they vary from that formula, Volvo risks abandoning its heritage… an all to common occurance these days.
Handsome as the new S80 is, the very fast windshield, fast backlite and swoopy roofline promise more restricted interior roominess and headroom. While very tastefully done, we can’t help but wonder if a more practical execution wouldn’t be better accepted. Of course, the sales of the original S80 have stagnated towards nothingness, so any refresh probably will generate improved sales.


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