Volvo boss sets out new direction

* Brand must sharpen up, says boss * Can't just copy BMW * Electric cars not the answer just yet...

19 August 2010
Volvo boss sets out new direction

Volvo's new boss has revealed how the company must change to attract new customers.

Just three days into the job of CEO, Stefan Jacoby, the former boss of VW in America, said the traditional brand values of Volvo must be moved on if the company is to shake off its image of playing second string to the likes of Audi and BMW.

Jacoby said: 'Volvo's brand definitions have been developed over a century Swedish and Scandinavian quality, design, uniqueness, and of course safety and reliability. These values provide a solid foundation, but are maybe not sharp enough to attract customers in the future.

'We need to have intensive discussions within Volvo to further sharpen the brand position. This is one of the earliest priorities I have set myself and the management team to discuss and define what Volvo stands for.

'Copying our competitors can't be the solution. We can't be just like BMW. It needs to be a unique proposition. We need to find a Volvo definition of what premium stands for.'

Holding back on electric
While many competitors are full-speed ahead in developing electric cars, Jacoby is taking a longer view on how cars should be fuelled in the future.

'We are at a transition from fossil fuels and the traditional internal combustion engines to alternative powertrains, and this period might last 10, 15, 20 years.

'We cannot say today that from tomorrow onwards we will drive only electric vehicles. It will take a long period for one of the technologies to take over the dominance of the combustion engine.

'We will have a lot of alternatives to reduce our consumption of oil, but we haven't really used the full potential of the combustion engine.