Long live the prancing moose!
Unlike Saab, whose death I did not mourn, Volvo is one company I am cheering for. And with last weeks reveal of the new XC90, it seems things are looking quite promising.
A few things trouble me however: does it matter that it is now a Chinese company? Will the new engine family put people off rather than draw them in? The XC90 was an obvious and easy choice to start the re-build with, what is next?
Other questions arose from the story and recent business analysis as well that doesn't involve the company directly or the XC90. The questions came from this article in AutoBlog(yes I'm still mad at them for not just editing my earlier post on the Dodge Hellcat but erasing it entirely) Weekly Recap: Volvo XC90 AutoBlog
The headline says it all "Volvo's $11 Billion Gamble" From the article "Just how much does it take to revive an iconic premium brand? How does $11 billion sound? That's what Volvo's Chinese owners are spending to give the Swedish company one more shot to make it as a global carmaker."
Any way you slice it, that is a shit tonne of money: is it worth it? It depends and what comes of it. Is the business plan solid and executable or is it just pie in the sky optimism?
I think the XC90 is a great first step but I do worry about what is next and it stems from the debacle that is Polestar from the past. BMW M, Mercedes AMG, Audi RS and even Cadillac V have all proved to be a sales success and brand identifiers in the positive. For reasons unknown, Volvo has in the past completely buggered up the Polestar name and reputation, all to their detriment.
Perhaps it was all down to budget or the idea that Volvo and performance just don't mix or even that the idea of a high 'speed' and sporty Volvo clashed with the "Safety First" mantra of Volvo? Whichever way it was just makes me nervous that the old mentality may not mix well with the new owners and things may go south quick.
Also, $11 Billion Dollars, just say that to yourself. Holy shit! If you have read any of my previous posts I have banged on about the cost of doing business in the modern car industry. This is a great example. A new and modern way of building cars is needed and on its way. $11 Billion, DAMN!
One final thought on that huge number: When dealing with numbers in this stratosphere, is it understandable for a company like GM to shave just a few pennies per car on say something like an ignition switch? Just a question to rattle your brain. Thanks for reading.