Amid a general leveling off in the US car market and especially the luxury segment, Volvo is moving up the pack, picking up market share and forecasting record sales under its new Chinese management in both the US and China.
Things are going so well that Volvo Cars has been able to make strides toward becoming the sort of lifestyle brand that every premium auto marque wants to, launching a promotion called the Get Away Lodge outside the buzzing winter sports village of Are in Sweden.
Volvo remains far from challenging German domination of the global premium car market. But since being transferred from Ford to Zhejiang Geely Holding Group for $1.8 billion in 2010, Volvo has invested $11 billion in a makeover.
It has introduced a new version of its crucial XC90 utility vehicle, garnered greater appreciation for its understated design approach to automotive luxury, developed a spate of new models that will appear in coming months and made some significant deals to make sure it keeps up in the self-driving derby. Volvo also broke ground in South Carolina on its first US plant, and its V90 Wagon just became available to order for US customers.
Volvo sales in the US, its fastest-growing market last year, rose by 18 percent to nearly 93,000 vehicles behind the XC90. Global Volvo sales grew by 6 percent last year. The XC90 remains in tight supply. “We need more cars,” Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson told the Wall Street Journal.
“I foresee that 2017 will also be a record year in terms of sales,” Samuelsson said in a statement.
In automated driving, Volvo has struck crucial partnerships with Uber and with Autoliv, an auto-safety systems maker, to give the company what it might need to compete with Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Volkswagen-owned Audi in technological innovation.
“The next year will focus on technology,” Samuelsson said. “Our ambition is to be a leader in this field, also in the next step in safety, which is an important trademark of Volvo.”
And to further the luxury marque’s ambitions as a lifestyle brand, a new Volvo-branded pop-up Get Away Lodge, in concert with luxury curator Tablet Hotels, offers “a peaceful retreat for people wanting to reconnect with their passions in life,” the brands said in a press release. For a limited time, the lodge is available, featuring “a mix of Scandinavian design and mindfulness” as well as lodge-y amenities, a yoga and contemplation room, winter sports gear, and a panoramic view of the Areskutan mountain.
And for good measure, use of a Volvo V90 Cross Country is included in the package.