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Old 1st October 2008, 18:55   #16
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Volvo definitely scores one of the top brands with the highest safety features
Yes, I meant "one of the top brands" which silently include Benz, BMW, Audi etc.

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
That's marketing talk
Somewhere I found the safety rating as topmost, dont remember the source. Not from volvo materials, but from an independent rating agency.

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So if Volvo is to fight in a competitive market they would need to position the cars a shade below the Audi BMW Merc trio and sell at a level just ahead of VW
Volvo sedans and SUVs, even in a brand respecting crowd (Oman as example), is found very few. I have seen them chauffer driven for CEOs or Directors of companies. The XC90 I saw in bangalore 2 days back had a single occupant on the back seat (in full suit) on the way to the airport, driver in a full white uniform including white cap. So, I feel the brand image is slightly different from others in most places. India is overflowing with Benz, BMWs and Audis. BMWs specialising in killing people too ! cheers:
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Old 1st October 2008, 19:51   #17
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Thumbs down 400 Cars at the end of this Fiscal!

I drove an S80 at Modi Motors – Gurgaon in 2006. I must confess that I was amazed with its refinement and the ‘Built as a Tank’ like feeling. Despite its solid feel, the driving dynamics were remarkably wonderful. I do not see any reason why Volvo as a brand cannot compete with leaders in the segment. I drive a 530d today and I must confess that I wouldn’t be really sad had I owned an S80 instead except for the brand appeal.

Problem: In all probability, the marketing managers at Volvo are a confused lot. I really doubt that they have any clue where to position the cars that come out with a Volvo badge. If we look at the other players in the current Volvo segment, we have

Audi – Their brand building initiatives in India have been expensive and exceptional. From a position of Audi who? To Audi Yes! They have covered solid ground in India. Regarding their dealerships though the less we talk the better it is for the time being.

Mercedes – They have the know-how & a decade old network plus of course the brand that will ensure the sales figures are achieved.

BMW – Only God knows where they will stop with their brand building initiatives. They seem to be the masters in this game. IMO they have been the smartest of the lot; very frugal but very effective. They have targeted the right segment with their events (the Aamby Valley event, the Auto Expo, BMW Studio, their Fashion show done by Sunit Verma, wine tasting events, Golf hole in one etc) their dealerships (You must have a look at the workshops. Imagine a Sunit Verma fashion show organized in a workshop! They did that in Bangalore.) & their products (the number crunching 520d for example).

Volvo – Sadly they have been caught off guard on all accounts. There’s no point in mentioning about their dealer network, brand building initiatives are too late & too little. This resulted in just ONE car sold in the month of June 2008. It is party time when national sales figure touch double digits! That’s sad given the fact that they already hold 200 cars in stock.

Let’s wait for the answer to the big question: How will they sell 400 cars in India? This seems a tall claim as of now.

Last edited by GTO : 2nd October 2008 at 12:44. Reason: Removing FONT tags. Please do not cut-copy-paste from other word softwares. It results in a formatting error.
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Old 2nd October 2008, 15:23   #18
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I would anyday prefer a Volvo over any other exotics here, just because of the same reasons what you have mentioned above. I havent driven one (there are no dealers in all 4 southern states !!) but have experienced the comfort for few hours on a project outside the country. There is no better word than "built as a tank". The rear indicator design can be spotted from any crowd, which is exclusive on Volvos.

Now hearing the 200 cars in stock, I am wondering what they are going to do with all of them ? There is literally zero marketing, no brand promotions, not even an attempt to show the product to the crowd ! Imagine just 3 dealerships (Mumbai, Delhi & Punjab) in a country like India !

The volvo website Volvo Cars - www.volvocars.com/in is designed well though. Its fun to start & revv the engine, play the CD and radio, open doors and hatch, play with the lights inside and outside. May be they plan to even offer test drives on the net !!
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Old 2nd October 2008, 17:08   #19
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I drove the S80 and V70 for 1000kms each, i must say they are built like tank, even at 205Kmph the car was rock steady
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Old 2nd October 2008, 17:39   #20
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Flash... should be banned. Music on websites... should be banned.

I have always had a huge soft spot for Volvo cars: I even wanted one of those wardrobe-shaped things back in the sixties!
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Old 2nd October 2008, 17:46   #21
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The Built like a tank is certainly a Volvo. I once owned a 1993 240SE Wagon model in Bangalore and enjoyed its build. Even after 12 years it ran as good as new and had absolutely no problems at all. I have driven the latest models too in Japan and find them nothing less than the famed brands in quality. I would go for a Volvo anytime even now. Infact I even plan to reposess the car I sold to my friend once back in Bangalore.
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Old 2nd October 2008, 18:57   #22
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Somewhere I found the safety rating as topmost, dont remember the source. Not from volvo materials, but from an independent rating agency.
Well, if we have to go by rating agencies, then the Audi A6 matches / beats the Volvo S80. Like I said, Merc / BMW / Audi are just as safe as the S80. It's not like being in a Volvo is the difference between life & death. We are talking about the premium segment here where a high safety standard is a given. Let's also not overlook the fact that active safety systems are more important than passive safety. To me, a car that is dynamically superior has a higher chance of avoiding an accident than a lesser capable car.

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Despite its solid feel, the driving dynamics were remarkably wonderful.
I am surprised you say that as a 5 series owner. The S80's road behaviour is nowhere near the BMW's handling prowess. I have given the S80 the stick and while grip levels are safe, it simply lacks the driving dynamics of the 5. Or even the E. That's an accepted fact.

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Problem: In all probability, the marketing managers at Volvo are a confused lot. I really doubt that they have any clue where to position the cars that come out with a Volvo badge. If we look at the other players in the current Volvo segment, we have
You betcha! The right place to position Volvos is below its German competition. Just as in other parts of the world.

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I havent driven one (there are no dealers in all 4 southern states !!) but have experienced the comfort for few hours on a project outside the country.
You must drive one then. I agree with you on the comfort levels, those seats + high speed ride are fantastic.

The main point for Volvo's lack of success? USP. BMW gave Mercedes a thrashing in the market with its snazzy looks, powerful engines, competitive pricing, extended warranties and badge value to match. Volvo simply can't expect to price its cars on par and get away with it.
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Old 3rd October 2008, 00:09   #23
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Well, if we have to go by rating agencies, then the Audi A6 matches / beats the Volvo S80. Like I said, Merc / BMW / Audi are just as safe as the S80
I found the source of safety rating which I mentioned in the previous post. It is IIHS crash test results Interestingly the 2008 Top safety pick awards position Audi A6 and Volvo S80 same way in the large car segment, no other brands that are available in India. Mid size include Audi A3, A4, Honda accord, Ford fusion, VW Jetta & Passat, Small size include Honda Civic and Lancer, Large SUV mentions Audi Q7 etc. None of the Large/Mid/Small segments has BMW or Merc, that was a surprise for me too !! Its an independent, non-profitable institute. So, data could be debated, agreed or ignored !
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Old 3rd October 2008, 00:31   #24
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I am driving S40 for the past 2 years and it's really a amazing car given the 1.9 Turbo Engine.I am happy with the Car but anyday I will be happier with Merc or BMW.

The pricing is the key point.I can't see Volvo as equal to Merc or BMW today.They are two different segment in my opinion .

But to Indian conditions I fees S40/60 are best bet if priced around 15- 20 Lacks respectively.It will give a good run for Scoda.
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Old 3rd October 2008, 06:51   #25
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Volvo were known for safety in the early 1970's. Only the prohibativly costly mercs could beat them on this point. However, the competition has caught up. Renault's are pretty safe now and get 5 star ratings - so whats Volvo's USP ? Beyond nice tough station wagons, (skoda seems to eat them on that in the UK!) I am confused
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Old 3rd October 2008, 11:29   #26
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Yes, It seems that we have spun off an interesting debate. What I am aware from my business school days is that the sales figures are a reflection of

Product (as I read from the text her, nobody is complaining)
Price (Well, that's a big question)
Positioning (Another big question)
Promotion (All gone wrong. Imagine gifting a car to Mr. Bindra to create market presence!!! Who's bad idea was this one)

If Volvo is able to turn 400-500 units by the end of this fiscal...this is anybody's guess.
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Old 3rd October 2008, 15:13   #27
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Promotion (All gone wrong. Imagine gifting a car to Mr. Bindra to create market presence!!! Who's bad idea was this one)
I think it was better for Volvo to gift a car to me (a normal automobile lover) in Bangalore which would have defenitely done a better marketing in the south than giving the same to an Olimpian who already owns an XC90 and dozen of others. The option is still open, if someone can recomend !!cheers:

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Old 3rd October 2008, 15:57   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeamerBoy View Post
Product (as I read from the text her, nobody is complaining)
Price (Well, that's a big question)
Positioning (Another big question)
Promotion (All gone wrong. Imagine gifting a car to Mr. Bindra to create market presence!!! Who's bad idea was this one)
AHA! The 4 P's eh? Lets analyse Volvo's current situation from the 4 A's viewpoint too:

Availability: Score : 1 / 10. Are the Volvos reaching its customers? Terribly I say! What's their distribution / dealership strength? How does the visibility fare? How many cities is Volvo cars present in?

Acceptability: Score : 7.5 / 10. Well, The S80 & XC90 are pretty decent cars. Not outstanding, but good. Some of you may even rank them an 8 out of 10.

Awareness Score : 1 / 10. Line up 25 managers who recently bought a car costing 30 - 40 lakhs. Then, ask them if the thought of a Volvo so much as crossed their mind. I can assure you barely 1 (if at all) would have thought of cross-shopping with a Volvo. Their marketing / brand exercises have been inexistent....terrible! Considering that most pay 40 lakhs for the badge & prestige as much as the car, this behaviour is inexplicable. In India, Volvo = buses. Period.

Affordability Score : 4.5 / 10. Bad pricing. The S80 doesn't have anywhere near the dynamics or sheer quality of the E Class / 5 series brigade. Nor is anyone going to pay over 60 lakhs for a Volvo SUV. The discerning Indian consumer simply doesn't see value in Volvos products. Their cars need to be positioned lower than the Germans for any chance of success. Volvo's potential customers can't afford anything over low-30's for the S80.
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Old 3rd October 2008, 18:09   #29
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I think the tremendous popularity of the Volvo buses may be working against it when it comes to marketing their cars as a status vehicles. Next thing you know, the subordinate will tell the big boss. "Arrrey,big deal, I also went to my village in a Volvo"
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Old 3rd October 2008, 19:13   #30
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All that thinking can change gradually with a smart marketing and promotional activity. Middle east has lots of Benz and Volvo 16 wheeler and above trucks, apart from having many buses. It doesnt change the perspective of the crowd opting for both the brands. So, someone should enlighten these folks here how to market their stuff and get into the crowd.
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