We'd never think an automaker would cite its reliability as an obstacle, but according to Stuart Kerr, Volvo's new regional president for Europe, it poses quite a stumbling block - particularly when it's time to re-shape the brand's image.
"We have had cars which last forever," Kerr said. "There are still lots of Volvo 240s on the roads. That is very difficult when you are trying to build a brand image today; people think of the boxy cars we had in the past." A new image, Kerr believes, is key in helping Volvo succeed in countries other than its native Sweden. Though its lineup has been dramatically revamped over the past decade, it still struggles with its identity. Going forward, expect to see Volvos move upscale - at least in Europe. In contrast to the admittedly stark 240, Kerr wants future Volvo offerings to directly compete against the likes of BMW and Mercedes-Benz across the European continent. Additionally, expect to see a renewed focus on CO2 emissions. Kerr admits it had been "a weak spot" for the brand, but the new DRIVe range, along with advanced technologies, will aim to combat that reputation as well. Source: Automotive News Europe