Overlooked at Geneva: Volvo's Barrage of Beige
If you missed Volvo's updated lineup of vehicles from the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, you'd be forgiven. With the onslaught of million-dollar supercars, it was hard to pay attention to anything other than McLarens and Ferraris. However, there were, indeed, other cars on display. Volvo rolled out a slew of new models, and the changes speak volumes to where the brand is headed. Trust us, it's a good thing. First off, most automakers choose to update a new vehicle every several months. The process is meant to A) spread development costs over the financial year and B) keep fresh interest throughout the model year. Volvo decided to take the "Go Big or Go Home" approach and updated nearly its entire lineup. New models include the S80, S60, V60 and XC60.
The new look is more staid than its predecessors. The previously blacked-out grille is now a pronounced chrome. The sharp angles and aggressive, two-piece headlights (in the case of the S60 and XC60) have been toned down to more subtle layouts.
In short, Volvo is getting back to its roots. Building quality cars that are attractive, but not overstated, and with a focus on safety. The brand spent the latter half of the last decade reinventing itself, focusing on performance. Now that it has a new buyer base, Volvo can go back to nurturing its core consumers. Sure, you could make jokes about college professors and tweed jackets, but that image has worked for Volvo for most of its existence. We'll see if it works for the brand going forward.