Volvo’s new CEO Stefan Jacoby is shaking things up. The new CEO is pushing for a new Volkswagen Golf-size 5-door hatchback for 2012, a model that will take precedence over a replacement for the XC90 SUV.
While hatchbacks are less important in the United States, the segment is very popular in Europe. Jacoby says that the new model will be aimed at helping the Swedish automaker reverse a recent sales decline.
Volvo sold 350,000 units globally in 2009 but has a capacity of producing 500,000.
“I believe a vision of 800,000 cars a year in 10 years’ time is achievable,” Jacoby said. “We are putting together a strategy over the next six months to see how we can grow not only in emerging countries like China, but also in our established markets in Europe and the U.S. We are working on a product strategy and we have opportunities to get leaner. As a relatively small car company we can move quickly.”
Jacoby said that around 30 percent of the 800,000 goal will come from China. He also said that Volvo seriously needs to define a brand image.
“We need to focus on luxury. I don’t believe in the word ‘premium,'” he said. “It sounds like you are making people pay for something they do not necessarily get. Volvo has lost its distinguishing points as a product. You can immediately recognize you are sitting in a BMW or an Audi, for example, and I don’t think Volvo is there yet.”
- By: Zain Haq