Is a Volvo the alternative to a Saab? The other Swedish brand is probably currently experiencing the phase of its development in which it is more Saab than ever before. More former Saab employees work in Gothenburg than in Trollhättan, and some models have details that were also imaginable in a Saab. Readers were able to vote on it a few weeks ago. The result is, for a Saab blog, surprising.
The vote produced two findings. For one, the number of proponents who don't want to see Volvo on the blog never fell below 50%. On the other hand, at least every third reader was always of the opinion that Volvo and Saab would provide a successful mix of topics. A third is a lot, too strong a group to ignore the result, so I took a closer look at Volvo and the current development.
Volvo is exciting
Volvo, that is no longer just the basis in Gothenburg and Sweden. Since Geely took over the helm in Hisingen, the brand is traveling internationally. Continuously successful, with a fresh range of products and exciting DNA, which also spreads worldwide through other brands.
From the former Volvo tuning forge Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath forms a high-tech manufacture for electrified sports cars that plays in the high-priced segment. The Polestar 1 is now rolling out in a limited edition, the fully electric Polestar 2 has what it takes to seriously compete with Tesla. The Polestar headquarters, development and design are located on Hisingen. A brand new factory in Chengdu takes over the production. The design remains true to the roots. Nordic cool, technical and always very valuable.
Beside Polestar urges Lynk & Co on the market. The design is made by Europeans, while most of the development comes from Sweden. The business is managed by Alain Visser, who was responsible for Saab Germany among other things during the GM era. Lynk & Co can freely use the Volvo technology kit, all models have Volvo technology. The design and positioning on the market are different. Lynk & Co appeals to a young, digital audience and sees itself primarily as a mobility provider who wants to provide solutions for practically every period and budget. In China, the completely new brand is successful with around 120.000 sales in 2018, the first full sales year, and a half a percent market share.
Is Volvo a topic for the blog?
- No, everything should stay as it is! (56% 254 Votes)
- Yes, there comes together what is Swedish! (34% 156 Votes)
- I really can not decide! (10% 44 Votes)
Total Voters: 454
The brand is drawn to Europe. In 2020 or maybe 2021, you want to be present here. Then at the latest it will be really exciting. They want to do without a dealer network completely. Vehicles are ordered online, there are no surcharge lists and no discounts. The delivery takes place to the front door, the prices should be aggressive. Volvo technology at a discount price, that could lead to distortions. Lynk & Co will presumably be the first Chinese supplier to become some noteworthy business in Europe.
Volvo as a pioneer of safety
Not to be forgotten CEVT. Under the leadership of the former head of development, Mats Fägerhag, new vehicles are created not only for Volvo and Lynk & Co, but also for Lotus and Proton, which are also at home with Geely-Volvo. And Carl Peter Forster, one of the fathers of Saab 9-5 NG and 9-4x, is a member of the supervisory board of Geely Holding.
There are many overlapping biographies. It is not NEVS that has captured the Saab relics, but the Geely-Volvo group.
Volvo does brilliant press work. With the misunderstood farewell to the combustion engine, great attention was paid for free. Gothenburg does not want to do without fossil fuels entirely, but only completely electrify them. Something that all other manufacturers will also do because they have to - but which Volvo skilfully stages and presents itself as a pioneer.
Also, the limitation to a maximum of 180 kmh top speed from 2020 for each new Volvo is nothing more than an anticipation of what will soon affect everyone. A general speed limit is foreseeable, perhaps for 2021 or 2022. As a next step, the Speed Assist will then automatically slow down any Volvo in front of a school or kindergarten. In Sweden, the systems that actively intervene are advocated. In the EU, they become compulsory from 2024.
Why Volvo is not (yet) an issue
Volvo is exciting and provides many topics, also for the future. In principle, it would be what the blog would need. Many former Saab employees work for Volvo, and it is safe to say that a well-run blog would receive support not only in Gothenburg but also in Cologne. Because everything to do with individual mobility needs support and a platform, especially in a time of upheaval.
As I plunged into the Volvo world, I realized in the past few weeks that Saab and Volvo would only go hand in hand if they radically rewrote the blog format. Otherwise, Saab would lose ground massively. The blog is a not inconsiderable part of the microcosm of the brand, it has responsibility, and contributes to the fact that it has not completely disappeared.
Time for an evolution?
Unfortunately, in the last few days there has been icy headwind for the blog from a direction that should actually support the Saab tradition. However, one should always see headwinds as an opportunity. Opportunity to question your commitment. Does everything really have to stay as it is? Where is the personal pain threshold, how do you want to develop the medium further? Isn't it time for a completely different format?
The Volvo issue has been postponed, but not off the table! A completely new format, a different name that is busy. Almost 9 years with the Saabblog and the sensitivities in the environment is a long time. Perhaps now would be the right moment to launch something completely new in the course of 2020. Time for an evolution or even a revolution? Let's see…