Could Volvo be nothing but a memory by the end of 2014? According to at least one business analyst, chances are pretty high that we could see the brand disappear from US shores completely within eighteen months and possibly even the rest of the world soon after.
The brand has never had a particularly strong share of the US auto market and in April its market share here dropped even further to a dismal .3% which is not what any car company wants to see. Part of the problem for Volvo is the large number of direct competitors it faces here.
Its mid-luxury vehicles compete with pretty much every large auto company in the US including giants like General Motors and Toyota, while its low end models face off against BMW, Audi and Mercedes. Add to this tough competition a decreasing demand for Volvo automobiles in general and the problem only gets worse for the automaker.
Over the first four months of 2014, Volvo sold just 19,571 units which marked an 8% decline over the same period last year. At the same time, the market overall was moving in the other direction, with sales of 4,974,000 units and an increase of 7% over last year.
Volvo needs to turn things around, but their narrow product line adds to the challenges they face. In particular, the brand lacks a small sedan to compete with popular vehicles like the Toyota Corolla, Volkswagen Jetta and Honda Civic.
Even their existing line is facing problems with the soon to be redesigned XC90 hitting a double-digit sales decline. The vehicle saw its sales drop 36% from the same period last year.
Volvo has also been having problems in China, its home since being purchased by Zhejiang Geely Holding back in 2010. The automaker’s dealerships there inflated sales numbers in order to receive cash incentives from the company that were supposed to go to customers. Instead, that cash stayed with the dealerships.
Nicole Wakelin fell in love with cars as a teenager when she got to go for a ride in a Ferrari. It was red and it was fast and that was all that mattered. Game over. She considers things a bit more carefully now, but still has a weakness for fast, beautiful cars. Nicole also writes for NerdApproved and GeekMom.