Originally a Swedish owned automobile manufacturer, Ford Motors bought Volvo Car Company in 2000. With lagging sales and in trying to deal with the much more pressing matters of the U.S. recession, Ford sold Volvo to the Chinese holding company of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co, Ltd. in 2010. With offices and design centers around the world and assembly plants in Malaysia and California, the Volvo Car Company is looking to regain its reputation as a car company centered on its customer.
In 2015, Volvo Car Company sold a total of 503,127 cars. This was the first time in Volvo’s history that more than half a million cars were sold. With a global market share of only 2 percent, Volvo is considered a small car producer. According to MarketWatch, car sales in China made up the largest market (16 percent) of the total sales volume in 2014, followed by Sweden (14 percent) and the U.S. (14 percent), with other European countries bringing in single digits of the market share.
Lex Kerssemakers has been named new Senior Vice President, The Americas Region and President and CEO of Volvo Cars of North America. Volvo is hoping that this leadership change will give it the shot in the arm it needs to excel. In 2014, Volvo’s U.S. Market share was a dismal .3 percent, selling only 56,000 vehicles. Kerssemakers plan is very simple; bring car sales back to at least 100,000 cars per year. When that goal should be realized hasn’t been published. What is very clear is that Kerssemakers and Zhejiang Geely are very determined to bring Volvo back from utter death.
Since Zhejiang Geely bought Volvo from Ford in 2010 they have invested $11billion dollars into manufacturing a new line of automobiles. At first glance, the new vehicles do not look much different than the older versions previously designed and built by Ford. Yet, there are some undeniable differences not easily seen by buyers. These differences will greatly affect the bottom line of the company and give it the ability to increase market share.
Better Proportioned and Better Materials
The redesigned XC90 may look like its predecessor, but once inside buyers will notice a better proportioned interior with increased attention to the interior materials.
Significant Cuts in Cost
Since the XC90 will share major components with eight other new Volvo models coming out by 2019, significant advantages will be seen in parts cost and speed of the manufacturing process.
Advanced Safety Features
Volvo is expecting to regain market share by returning to its emphasis in automobile safety. The plan to increase safety to its former glory years includes two new systems: an active cruise control that accelerates and brakes automatically in traffic to avoid collisions, and a system that prevents drivers from accidentally turning into oncoming traffic.
Volvo is expected to roll out several models, in addition to the redesigned XC90, in 2015. These include the V60 Cross Country Wagon and the S60, a long-wheelbase sedan it unveiled at the Detroit auto show.
In an historic announcement, Volvo showed the world and the U.S. automobile market that it was well on its way to meeting their goals. This year, for the first ever, a Chinese manufactured car will be sold in the United States. The Volvo S60 Inscription, a luxury-minded version of Volvo’s top-selling sedan, is expected to land on U.S soil by mid-year.