Profits are up for Ford, Kia and Honda, but not all automakers are recuperating from 2009’s slumping sales. In order to maintain its ground, Volvo will discontinue some of its US models. “Volvo Cars, the Swedish carmaker owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. of China, will slash the number of models it offers in the U.S. to focus on its best-selling vehicles in a bid to reverse years of declining sales,” Bloomberg reports.
Exactly how many will leave the market? In a telephone interview with Bloomberg, Doug Speck, head of Volvo operations in the United States said, “‘Five or six is probably a good number. We have to focus on the key segments with significant volume potential.”
Among these is the Volvo V50. “This leaves the Volvo XC70 as the only Volvo station wagon in America,” adds Inside Line. “When asked if that wagon would be killed, Dan Johnston, Volvo Cars North America spokesman said, ‘No, that's a very good seller.’ Volvo sold 6,626 XC70 vehicles in 2010 here.” The C30, Volvo’s retro, glass-paned hatchback, will also go.
Naturally, the best sellers will stay. “For a company once known for its wagons, Volvo has seen the light—and the American love of crossovers,” says Car and Driver. “Two current Volvo products with job security are the XC60 and XC90, which together account for about half of the company’s American sales.” The S60 will also stay.
In a conversation with Bloomberg, Edmunds.com analyst Michelle Krebs says Volvo is making a smart move. “They need to trim their model line-up and put some marketing dollars behind the volume products they really want to push,” she states. “They don’t have a loud enough voice.”