It was solely in 2015 when Volvo, the Swedish carmaker, offered over a half-a-million automobiles for the primary time in its historical past. That turned out to be a little bit of a candy spot: Volvo offered 615,121 automobiles final 12 months globally, and Volvo spent the years in between on a successful streak, with product that clients favored and a means of doing enterprise that appeared neither flashy nor slimy.
It was someplace in these years, earlier than the pandemic, when a Volvo govt defined to me Volvo’s entire deal. “Folks say that you could’t earn cash promoting low numbers of automobiles however that’s precisely what we do,” he stated, appropriately. For years they positioned themselves because the extra tasteful different to the German automakers, and definitely classier than the American automakers, and undoubtedly not involved about quantity just like the Asian automakers. An automaker like Mazda, in the meantime, one thing related, but additionally totally different, too.
Volvo is exclusive, in different phrases, and its alliance with Polestar, which wished to be the anti-Tesla, was all of the extra evident. The debut of the EX30, the small-ish electrical SUV that Volvo unveiled on Wednesday, is proof that one thing else is perhaps afoot, as Volvo now seems to aspire, sadly, to quantity.
Automotive Information quoted Volvo CEO Jim Rowan:
Volvo’s “small however mighty” first subcompact SUV won’t solely be the model’s most inexpensive mannequin — with a beginning worth of 36,590 euros in Germany — it’s going to even be its quickest.
That mixture is among the causes Volvo CEO Jim Rowan is assured that the EX30 will play a key function in serving to the automaker obtain its 2025 targets of boosting international gross sales 95 % in contrast with final 12 months to 1.2 million, with half of these fashions being full electrical.
He stated Wednesday that Volvo expects the EX30 to be one of many model’s best-sellers within the coming years and that it’s going to “considerably contribute to our progress and profitability targets.”
A world gross sales enhance of 95 % in lower than a couple of years is a whole about-face for a model that for a few years didn’t faux to care about phrases like “boosting international gross sales.” One other about-face is “small however mighty,” as fashionable Volvo has by no means actually cared about being small nor mighty.
All of this worries me, as a result of I like Volvo, the Volvo that was pleased to toil away out of the highlight. All of this is also complicated, as a result of on paper, small and mighty and an electrical automotive that’s inexpensive are all constructive issues, they simply aren’t what Volvo has ever actually been about. Volvo isn’t imagined to be the corporate that makes an inexpensive EV for the plenty; that’s some Chevy Bolt shit. However that’s the Volvo that we appear to have now.