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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
10. Jeep Compass (tie): 52.7%
Ever wonder just how different men are from women when it comes to picking their vehicle of choice? Here’s a top 10 list of vehicles with the highest proportion of female buyers, provided by Polk via InsideLine. There are a few unexpected models on the list, and a couple of models that, to our surprise, are missing.
Tied for 10th is the Jeep Compass, the only American vehicle on the list. In a way it makes sense, the Compass never gets the respect it deserves, packing a four-cylinder engine and hardly has the rugged off-road ethos that traditional Jeep fans embrace. So in our most sexist tone possible, it makes sense that women embrace the Compass – no really, it’s Jeep’s baby SUV.
Swedish automaker Volvo is looking to shack up with a new mate in the hopes of making a fresh set of small cars. Their current compact, the C30 (above), is based on technology from former parent company Ford.
However, Ford dumped Volvo almost two years ago, passing them off to Chinese Geely Holding Group for $1.8 billion, a fraction of what they originally paid. Now the company says the are welcoming partnerships with other companies to fill the void their former American partner left behind.
Volvo CEO Stefan Jacoby told the Financial Times that the company is open to new partners who will be able to share in developing further compact models alongside Volvo in an effort to drive down production costs.
There isn’t an official decision yet about pairing up with any specific company, though it makes sense that Volvo would be looking for a new dance partner given that their current C30 line is nearing the time when a model typically gets a refresh.
The collaborative strategy is becoming increasingly common among automakers as profit margins start to wear thin. Last year Volvo agreed to work with German company Siemens to produce an electric vehicle.
Aside from business to business collaboration, Jacoby is taking Volvo in a similar direction as the last company he managed: Volkswagen. In an effort to cut costs, he’s taken the company from offering 10 engines to only two. He’s also implementing something similar to VW’s “modular box” approach to building cars, where multiple vehicles of different sizes are made in the same facility.
In the spirit of consolidation, Volvo is also expected to launch the compact V40 at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show this March. That car will replace the current S40 and V50 models.
[Source: Financial Times]
Like the waistline of its parent country’s bikini models, Volvo is considering trimming down—cutting its product line in half, including its legendary wagons.
Volvo CEO Stefan Jacoby believes that in America, its core products are the S60, the XC60 and XC90 SUVs. That means no more S40, no goofy-but-unloved C30 hatchback, and perhaps most egregious of all: no more V50 and V70 wagons. What is Volvo without its longroofs? Who knows, but there will likely be some members of Ithaca, New York’s Free Tibet chapter who will be sorely disappointed.
As Volvo aims to sell 120,000 cars annually—it is currently pushing less than half of that, at 53,948 vehicles for 2010—it is also considering its own captive finance division through its dealers. It will need to ink a deal with a major financial institution, as right now Volvo only offers financing through U.S. Bank.
[Source: AutoNews via Autoblog]
Despite the American introduction of diesel engines from most major European brands, Volvo remains non-committal to the prospect of diesel powertrains in America.
Volvo offers a broad range of diesels in Europe and other markets, but Stefan Jacoby, CEO of Volvo, offered little, stating “We are taking a deep look at whether we will introduce the diesels to the US.”
Volvo will also be downsizing their engines starting in 2013, following a recent trend embraced by manufacturers of all stripes. The first engine, dubbed the D2, will be a 1.6L four-cylinder diesel, to be fitted to the C30, S40 and V50 wagon – though that’s one engine we can’t ever see making it to our shores.
China’s Ministry of Commerce and its National Development and Reform Commission has signed off on a deal that will let Chinese carmaker Geely to purchase Volvo from Ford for $1.8 billion.
“We have received all approvals required from the central government,” Ning Shuyong a spokesman from Geely, told Reuters. “We are currently working on closing the deal.” China’s tight state control of the economy means that government approval is essential for any deals of this nature.
Geely is expected to help double Volvo’s output by investing in a new Chinese factory to produce cars under the Swedish nameplate. Geely is said to be willing to spend another $900 million to ensure that Volvo stays competitive. Currently, Volvo assembles the S40 and S80 sedans at the Ford-Chongqing Changan Automobile, but will likely have to move production due to the sale.
China’s Geely is planning on moving 150,000 Volvos in China by 2015, a prediction that could very well come true in the world’s largest car market.
According to reports, Geely will manufacture the Volvo XC60 and S60 in China by 2011, while discontinuing production the S40 compact sedan at its Chinese factories. Geely will establish an all-new plant to help meet its sales targets, but the company has yet to announce a location for the factory. Geely purchased Volvo for $1.8 billion in March, making it the largest automotive acquisition by a Chinese company.
File this one under unintentional hilarity. Volvo announced today that they were recalling 2010-2011 C30, S40 and V50 models equipped with manual transmissions. As you might expect, the number is fairly low, but we squealed with delight when we found out that the number was in the triple digits – 536 cars to be exact.
According to Volvo, a gearshift lever stud could come loose, preventing owners from changing gears. Dealers will fix the problem free of charge, but based on the number of manual Volvos in existence, they will likely have better odds of being struck by lightning than fixing the aforementioned problem.