For people who are not so young anymore, the brand from Gothenburg is representative of the station wagon. You have a 240 or 850 in front of your eyes, one speaks of a Volvo. That could soon be a thing of the past. The brand is moving further and further away from its roots. The strategists at Hisingen are not to blame for this. It's the vote of the customers. And that is clear.
Volvo = station wagon. That was once.
When I was a child, Volvo stood for station wagon. There were several 240 among friends. Solid as a castle and reliable. No comparison to the fragile Ford my father drove. My grandfather's Benz alone was able to keep up. However, the Volvos weren't all solid. I always found them a bit boring.
The story of the station wagon goes on at Volvo for decades. She uses the cliché of the schoolteacher driving a Volvo or the neighbor with the knitted sweater. It made film history, in countless Hollywood films the intellectuals were out and about in a station wagon from Gothenburg. Mandatory.
Anything else would have been unthinkable.
But the behavior of buyers has changed over the years. Today's schoolteacher has long been driving a Tesla, the one with the knitted sweater has not had his own car for a long time. He relies on car sharing. Volvo customers are turning to SUVs today, and they overwhelmingly do so. Around 75% are currently, says Volvo. For station wagons and sedans, only every fourth customer warms up. And Hollywood no longer relies on the Gothenburg brand.
That's not enough, says CEO Håkan Samuelsson Coach. Volvo will reduce the range of sedans and station wagons and instead add more SUVs to the range. Because more SUV equals more growth. A sedan or a station wagon will continue to be found at Volvo, but not to this extent.
Of course, it is difficult to design a conventional station wagon with the usual electric car architectures. The user literally rides through the world on an 800 volt battery pack, which forces a higher construction. Since Volvo is now completely committed to the electric car, the decision is only the logical consequence.
The station wagon was a Swedish cultural asset
In the medium term, you have to say goodbye to the station wagon with the Volvo logo. It's a shame, because this is a piece of Swedish cultural heritage and shaped generations who grew up on the back seat of a 240 or 850. The world, and not just the Volvo brand world, will become more uniform as a result. Traveling around the area on SUV high seats is getting harder and harder to avoid, but it clearly seems to be what the majority of customers want.
However, the old Volvo station wagons are also durable and have a solid fan base. They won't disappear that completely from the streets for the foreseeable future. The classic 240 series is sought after and not cheap, the 850 is attracting. Cultural assets from Gothenburg have a future. It doesn't have to be electric.