In his first press conference as the newly appointed CEO of Volvo, Stefan Jacoby gave a vague outline of where he intends to take the company. Top on Jacoby’s list are improving Volvo’s emotional appeal and looking for ways to work with suppliers and other automakers in the industry.
Jacoby joins Volvo after heading-up VW’s North American division, looking to steer the Swedish automaker to profit under the new ownership of China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., after several years of consecutive losses under Ford.
“Volvo stands for safety, solidity and reliability but the emotional positioning of the brand is not sharp enough,” said Jacoby in a press conference Wednesday. No details of how Volvo would create more emotion were given, but over the past few years Volvo has made a push to be more innovative in its designs. Rumors point towards a new flagship luxury sedan to compete with the BMW 7 Series. Other possibilities include going the sports car route.
Making partnerships in the industry will also be a part of Volvo’s mandate, as the ability for smaller automakers like Volvo to compete on a larger scale is becoming increasingly difficult. Jacoby highlighted the company’s small size as a benefit, saying that because it’s nimble it can act quickly. He also said Volvo would look to partner with other automakers on projects and find economies of scale in the process.
The larger plan for Volvo, as laid out by Geely, will see the Swedish automaker double production thanks to a plan in China, while its operations in Europe will continue serving the rest of the global marketplace.
Last year Volvo moved 334,808, down from an all-time high of 458,323 units in 2007. Jacoby did say that while Volvo hasn’t turned a profit since 2005, it was profitable in the last two quarters under Ford.
[Source: Automotive News]