Volvo XC70:

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

0

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.


Continue Reading

Volvo XC70 Most Ideal 2012 Luxury Crossover SUV

0

OK, OK, you might not put the Volvo XC70 in an SUV class, but Volvo has gone to lengths to give the XC70 SUV cues and it pulls them off pretty well.  And, Volvo describes the XC70 as a “crossover”, so, QED.  The XC70 outpoints the second place Audi Q5 by over 50 rating points.

AutoPacific’s Ideal Vehicle Award (IVA) recognizes the vehicle that best hits the target its buyers demand.  To score well shows the product planning and design team understand the vehicle’s buyers very well and have executed the product to meet those standards.

Volvo XC70 Dominates Audi Q5 in IVA Win: The 2012 Volvo XC70 comes closest to the ideal of any Luxury Crossover SUV.  The XC70 outpoints the second place Luxury XSUV – the Audi Q5 – by 52 rating points.  In fact, eighty-percent or more of XC70’s owners would not change fourteen of fifteen major characteristics of their vehicle.

Any time over 90% of an owner group wants a characteristic to remain the same, the maker has hit its target dead center.  Ninety-percent-plus characteristics in the XC70 include:  exterior size, exterior styling, driver’s seat visibility, driver’s seat comfort, wheels, and safety features.

The only area lacking is interior storage compartments – 27% of XC70 owners want more interior storage.

You can find an Autobytel review of this IVA award winner at  http://www.autobytel.com/auto-news/awards/ideal-suvs-pickups-rated-by-owners-in-2012-iva-awards-112117/

For a complete summary of all AutoPacific 2012 Ideal Vehicle Award results contact karin.turner@vehiclevoice.com and title your email “IVA Results”.  A copy of the results will be emailed to you within 48-hours.


Continue Reading

Polestar Volvos – Look for the Blue Rectangle

4

Volvo means safety, right?  Absolutely.  But Volvo is no longer alone atop the safety universe.  Other vehicles have achieved similar safety ratings and prospective buyers need additional reasons to consider a Volvo than its safety reputation.  To solve this conundrum, Volvo Cars of North America turned to Swedish tuner Polestar.

Look for the Polestar Rectangle

In 1996, Volvo began a long-term relationship with a Swedish performance tuner – Polestar.  Polestar souped up Volvos for the European racing circuit.  And, now, Polestar has come to the USA through the offer of a chip enhancement for Volvo sedans and XSUVs.  Polestar can either be added at the Volvo port or as an accessory by your friendly Volvo dealer.   At the dealer it will set you back $1,295 and Polestar says the chipping should take about ten minutes.  You get a lot of bang for the buck.

If you get your Polestar upgrade when you take delivery of your new Volvo, it can be residualized in a lease or financed with the vehicle.  Volvo’s warranty and maintenance plans remain in place.  It’s pretty seamless.


Continue Reading

2008 Volvo XC70: New York Auto Show

1

Volvo’s First Crossover Revived
Though the Volvo XC70 and V70 had worldwide introductions at the Geneva auto show, the 2007 New York auto show provided a venue for Volvo’s North American reveal of the XC70. As the XC70’s largest market is North America, it is no surprise the beefier model has been introduced here ahead of its tamer V70 wagon sibling. The XC70 will continue to offer only one powertrain in the States, but with the 2008 model year it gets the new 235HP 3.2L inline six mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

Vlv_08_XC70_bl_SAB.jpg

On sale in October 2007, this will be the third generation of XC70. It builds on the blend of wagon and SUV that made the first two generations the niche successes they were and substantially adds to the electronic aids intended to make being on the road safer. The XC70 stays only AWD, with basics like Volvo’s Instant Traction System and Dynamic Stability and Traction Control still standard. It is the launch product for Volvo’s version of Hill Descent Control and available with the three-setting (comfort, sport, and advanced) Four C active chassis control system.
Vlv_08_XC70_bl_rear.jpg

Other electronic aids include adaptive cruise control, Blind Spot Information System, a system that delays incoming phone calls or messages if it decides a given driving situation is too complex (IDIS assesses the complexity of a given driving situation through steering, throttle, brake application), the Personal Car Communicator introduced on the S80, and advanced braking functions including hydraulic brake assist, ready alert brakes, and a system for avoiding brake fade. Collision Warning with Brake Support system will warn the driver if they are getting too close, and brakes are prepared for action to help the driver stop as fast as possible when they notice the danger ahead. This particular system has three settings available, to adjust sensitivity for a particular driver’s tendencies and usual driving conditions.
Vlv_08_XC70_bl_side.jpg

The XC70’s passive-safety arsenal, between the standard and optional equipment lists, keeps the optional HID cornering headlights, updates child safety (including adjustable booster seats for the second row), and makes the second-generation WHIPS whiplash system and extended side curtain airbag standard.


Continue Reading

Crossovers… Media – Industry Forcing a Definition

We at VehicleVoice (http://www.vehiclevoice.com) and the VehicleVoice Blog-o-Rama (http:/.vehiclevoice.com) often feel that we are fighting an uphill battle concerning the use of the word “Crossovers”. This is a term that has come to mean SUVs based on car platforms and mechanicals. That’s fine. However, it is industry jargon that has not been adopted by the public. The media, picking up on industry jargon is forcing the term where no-one needs it.
An SUV is an SUV or Its NOT
Based on our research, it’s simple. American vehicle buyers have categorized vehicles into several basic categories: cars and trucks further subdivided into luxury cars, mid-size cars, economy/compact cars, sports/sporty cars, pickup trucks, sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and vans/minivans.
The SUV category seems to be giving folks the most trouble. To a typical vehicle-buyer, an SUV is an SUV is an SUV. There are big ones and small ones, but an SUV is an SUV. Muddying the playing field, however, is the notion of a “crossover”. A Traditional SUV in this more complicated world is a truck-based SUV like Ford Explorer or Toyota Sequoia. A crossover SUV is an SUV based on a car platform, a “unit-body” platform. But people often forget that the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Liberty, Mitsubishi Montero are all based on unit-body platforms but are not car-based. Does this make them a crossover? NO!
TBlazer Blog.jpg
Chevrolet Trailblazer… a “real” Truck-Based SUV

Post-Modern SUV… Soft Roader… NOT Crossover

So, it’s pretty muddy. What crossovers need to be are at-a-glance SUVs. The basics of the SUV equation are well known so deviating is a risk. An SUV must have a basic two box bodystyle, relatively tall glass for good visibility, a relatively upright windshield that provides a stiff A-Pillar allowing easy ingress/egress, and a command seating position. At the same time interior roominess and the ability to carry cargo is very important. From our perspective, this most American of vehicle types is very easy to understand but easy for a foreign car company to get wrong.
Torrent Blog.jpg
Pontiac Torrent… Car-Based Post-Modern (Crossover) SUV
Let’s read on about how USA Today recently reacted to the issue of “crossovers”…


Continue Reading

Follow VehicleVoice

RSS Feed   Facebook   Twitter

Membership

Join

Recent Winners

Sid P., Washington - $100
Ken G., Nevada - $100
Brad T., Wisconsin - $100
Tom M., Virginia - $100
Kathy F., New Jersey - $100
John M., Massachusetts - $100
Mike M., California - $100
Carol R., Texas - $100
James D., Georgia - $100
Martha B., New Jersey - $100
Kerry B., Pennsylvania - $100

What is VehicleVoice?

About Vehicle Voice