CEO Stefan Jacoby says Volvo needs to get back to its Swedish roots and stop copying the Germans. Jacoby also said the automaker will not be developing a flagship sedan rival to the BMW 7-Series until it more than doubles its sales volume.
Volvo's newly appointed CEO Stefan Jacoby is already at work a reshaping the Swedish brand's strategy for the future and the former VW executive says that Volvo needs to do its own thing and "stop copying the Germans."
In an interview with Autocar magazine, Jacoby, who was head of Volkswagen of America before taking over the reigns at Volvo last August, said that Volvo "has lost its distinguishing points in its products" and that the brand needs to return to its Swedish roots.
He also said that Volvo was not planning on a flagship premium sedan to rival the likes of the BMW 7-Series or the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. That's in contrast to what Li Shufu, head of Chinese automaker Geely, which now owns Volvo, said earlier this year when he expressed the desire to have a larger, luxury model in the Volvo lineup to rival the likes of the 7-Series.
Jacoby wants to see the automaker take its sales to around 800,000 units a year, from last year's 335,000, before the automaker can consider such a model.
"You can immediately recognize you're sitting in a BMW or an Audi and I don't think Volvo is there yet. Volvo at the moment is not sharp enough or in harmony with what the brand stands for," Jacoby told Autocar.
Jacoby also said that Volvo needs to simplify its production and may reduce the number of platforms its has to just one or two. Engines will also be downscaled and more focused, with Volvo dropping V8 and possibly even 6-cylinder power plants to focus solely on 4- and 5-cylinder engines and develop its electric vehicle and hybrid technology such as in the C30 EV and the V70 plug-in hybrid scheduled for 2012.