Volvo, bolstered by new models and generally good reviews of its cars, was supposed to nudge its way into the higher end of the U.S. car market. Those plans fell apart in January as its sales dropped 18.2% year over year to 3,472.
Sales of its flagship “All-New XC90” fell 34.5% to 1,556. The only model that demonstrated strength was the S60, with sales that rose 30.8% to 595.
The XC90 is Volvo’s crossover.
Consumer Reports researchers wrote last year:
Once the icon of restrained luxury and bank-vault safety, the Swedish automaker Volvo fell on tough times, seeing sales slump because of an aging, uninspiring model line. Now flush with an $11 billion cash infusion from its Chinese owner, Geely, Volvo’s XC90 flagship SUV represents a make-or-break moment, its executives admit. The XC90 could be the vehicle that wins back those who walked away and attracts those who never thought they would find a Volvo in their garage.
When automakers say that a car is “all new,” they’re usually fibbing. It can mean just a nip and tuck of sheet metal or some refined interior-trim pieces.
In the case of the 2016 Volvo XC90, though, Volvo is boasting about a new vehicle platform that will spawn a slew of other models, a new engine and transmission family, and a new infotainment system that could pass for an iPad by Ikea. If you want to brag to your neighbors about your totally brand-new car, this is it.
The “winning back” part does not seem to be working.