News Column

Volvo Bringing V60 Wagon to US

March 29, 2013

Brent Snavely

Volvo V60 Wagon

Volvo is going back to its roots. The Swedish automaker best known for the large, fortress-like station wagons said Thursday it is bringing its V60 wagon to the U.S.

This is a redesigned version of the V60 that has been sold in Europe for about three years.

"Volvo has this heritage that is unlike any other brand," said Doug Speck, a Volvo marketing executive. "Our wagons have always been cool ... they were boxy perhaps, but they were cool."

Speck said he expects annual sales will top about 5,000.

The V60, Volvo's first true wagon in the U.S. since it phased out the V70 in 2010, will offer a choice of three engines. Volvo did not disclose pricing or fuel economy figures.

There are no plans for a diesel version, Speck said.

Zhejiang Geely Holding bought Volvo from Ford in 2010. Since then, Volvo has been unable to gain additional U.S. market share.

In 2012, Volvo's U.S. sales edged up 1.3% to 68,125 vehicles, well below overall industry sales, which rose 13.4%. Volvo's U.S. market share remained steady in 2012 at 0.5% of sales.

Eight of the nine cars Volvo sells globally have been updated over the past year, Speck said.

"This is the freshest range we have had in the marketplace for quite some time," Speck said.

In addition, Volvo is developing a new line of four-cylinder engines and a new platform for several new mid- and full-size cars and crossovers.

"So the biggest thing Geely has done is released resources for us to invest in our product range," Speck said.

Volvo's revival won't occur quickly. Speck said he expects Volvo's market share to remain flat at least through 2014.

"The reality is that we are living with the products that were available to us when the sale went through," Speck said. "When we start to roll out this new range of cars, that's when we are going to be more aggressive about going after share."

Source: (c)2013 the Detroit Free Press. Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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