Things that work. But they're not fun.

It's worth trying things out. Only then can you tell whether ideas are working. Sometimes plans work out, but you can see that despite their success, they are not fun. That includes the Volvo issue. For me, the brand has always been the lifeline from an automotive point of view. Drive a Volvo when there is no longer a new Saab or a Saab in acceptable condition. So it came about that Volvo found its way onto the blog as a logical Saab relative.

Yes, there is also a Volvo among bloggers. XC90 from Mark.
Yes, there is also a Volvo among bloggers. XC90 from Mark.

In addition, friend Mark and co-blogger now drives Volvo number 2, is happy with it, and the XC90 fits well into his Saab-dominated Swedish fleet. What else could go wrong there? Actually nothing. In the past few weeks there have been repeated here Volvo themes to read. A colorful selection as a test laboratory to find out what the readers are interested in and whether they like to read anything from Volvo at all.

The result is very amazing. Volvo texts perform well, almost no matter what you are writing about. That exceeds any expectation. Do Saab drivers like Volvo well? That seems to be the case. This is exactly where my two problems begin, which I was only able to recognize in the middle of the experiment.

Problem number 1. There are too many stories around Volvo.

From a Swedish point of view, the Volvo topic is multifaceted. Dramatic, to get to the point. Because in Sweden people are currently worried about the brand. The recent Geely decisions bring back memories of Saab. People are already talking about the GM effect. What happened? Under Geely direction, a Volvo becomes a Lynk & Co or a Polestar. Same base, different design, better performance data and a lower price. This is what happened recently with the Volvo XC90, which is also available in a new look as Lynk & Co.

Badge engineering at a high level, reminiscent of the cannibalization of Saab. In addition, Volvo saves in development and innovations are delayed. On the other hand, sales must break records at all costs. Is that related to the IPO in Stockholm and Shanghai, which is once again on the agenda for the end of the year?

Problem with the many Volvo topics for the blog: If you were to appreciate all events accordingly, the Volvo topic would be dominant. And that can't be.

Problem number 2. I don't enjoy it.

My second problem starts with the Volvo product range. There is exactly one car that I find exciting. The S60, which does not play a major role in the Volvo world. The rest? SUV everywhere you look and, to top it off, the new Volvo C40which a Swedish auto newspaper referred to as a "lump". And in the next sentence I realized, just like I do, that innovative design can be found elsewhere today. At Hyundai and Kia, for example.

Okay, I knew the range of products before I started the Volvo adventure on the blog. I could feel the boredom, but I was hoping for the spark that leaps over when you are intensely concerned with something. There was no spark, and the realization that even very good readership numbers do not justify every project followed immediately.

For me it is time to say goodbye to the Volvo issue. The brand is not disappearing 100% from the blog, but for me as an author it is no longer an issue. No passion and no fun. Life is too short to compromise of this nature. Volvo remains an excursion, a short romance with no happy ending. The relationship with the brand is still not without sympathy, even if this primarily concerns the old models. Readership numbers and clicks were never the goal of the project, and if I disappointed one or the other reader, then I am sorry.

24 thoughts on "Things that work. But they're not fun."

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    I came to Saab over 10 years ago because I actually wanted a Volvo, namely a V70 with a large trunk and lots of space for the stroller. Thanks to the scrapping bonus, the result was a Saab 9-5 station wagon, which I still mourn today. There was simply no longer an affordable V70 at the time.
    In between, a Saab 9-3 convertible and a 9-3 station wagon were our cars. Meanwhile the last Saab is gone and we drive a Volvo, a V40 and a V70 D5, which was replaced by a V2 90 months ago. The tax regulations for the self-employed make the use of an “old” car simply totally uneconomical. So, away with the V70.
    The V40 is a great, economical car, which unfortunately has been discontinued by Volvo in favor of SUV production. I really wonder what this model policy is about. In my opinion, these “tanks” cannot be the solution. And from a purely visual point of view, I think that's all an imposition.
    Since I have a large trunk as the most important requirement for my car for the occasional transport of musical instruments and, from my point of view, there is no longer any alternative to Volvo in the field of new cars, only the V90 remained. Certainly a great car if you are a car tester, I also got a very cheap leasing contract. But to be honest, I don't know what the V90 is supposed to be: You have a trunk in this huge booth like in an old Golf station wagon. Of course, it's all super chic and full of technology, but do I need it? No. I prefer to leave the car because the traffic just annoys me. For me, the V90 is the most soulless car I've ever owned. But this Volvo also has something positive: It is the perfect model with which I can emotionally say goodbye to the car. I hope that by the end of the leasing period in 2024 something has been invented with which I can get from A to B and no longer have to drive a car. By the way, I bought a really nice bike with the proceeds from the sale of my Saab 9-3 Cabrio.

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    Badge engineering

    Amazing, but not a single one of the numerous comments goes into this prominent and explosive paragraph of the article ...

    According to the article, a big issue in S is whether Volvo is now bleeding to death. And here nobody jumps on it. Me only now and just to appreciate the article.

    Somehow you really dull. The loss of brands and brand identities used to move me. But what if the exception becomes the rule?

    Today I shrug my shoulder more and more easily. Volvo?
    The next link in a long chain.

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    Hi all!
    Ok, I admit that I still carry the Saab gene 100% and that I guard and care for both of my treasures.
    However, far too much personal assessments have been taken in by Tom and I think that Volvo also has to act economically, which was never really possible at Saab in the last few decades.
    You are celebrating the 9-4x here in the block, which was available in modest units, but let's be honest, it was an SUV with which they wanted to conquer Europe.
    The car was optically great, but the workmanship was modest (like the 9-3 of the 2 series, the 9-5 of the first series and and and ...).
    Volvo doesn't do anything else to assert itself in the top league with its Suvs (by the way, I don't think that's bad).
    Personally, I think the V90 and V60 are very successful (ok the V40…. I'm back with Tom and the Swedes, you can't offer anyone).
    But and that also shows the registration statistics, the plan is working and the vehicles are in the registration numbers over 5% (by the way, Saab never managed that in Germany).
    In any case, I see it critically that all automobile manufacturers are now trying desperately to work together with others to become more economical.
    It's just a matter of time before, for example, Opel, Alfa and Co like Saab disappear.
    For my part (OK, I work for a mass VAG brand), I can definitely get something from a Volvo and I think it's good that no matter how, at least one Swedish brand can still hold up.
    In this sense, have a nice evening to you

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    I sign every line of this article and I feel that my actions have been confirmed (after reading all the posts): I recently released my leased VOLVO V90 T8 from the contract a year early (for a very clear 4-digit amount) and myself I bought a SAAB 9-5 NG Vector 2.0T AWD (MY 2011) in “full equipment” (incl. glass roof) and I am happy and proud to be able to drive such a 10-year-old, yet contemporary and uniquely designed car .

  • Hello Saab friends, I read your comments on VOLVO in peace and quiet, I would sign a lot - but not others. Somehow also logical - claims and tastes are of course as different as we humans - and that's a good thing I think - would otherwise be kind of boring ...
    But now my (provocative) question - if SAAB WOULD be firmly in Chinese hands and would build exactly these cars - would we then judge exactly that or would these models perhaps be the ultimate in automotive engineering?!?
    Don't get me wrong - I'm a SAABian out of conviction and it will probably stay that way (if you let us drive our combustion engines even further), but sometimes I find our pink Saab glasses very subjective….
    With this in mind - have a nice evening and let's continue to cherish and look after our treasures ...

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      Very good question

      I imagine it to be the other way around.
      Not everything that happens today is a lot of crap simply because there is no Saab logo on it, but because it's simply very big crap.

      However, I also believe that Saab would participate today. That Saab never got embarrassed is probably just the mercy of an early death.

      But at least that way you can remember Saab fondly. keep and care for them. Volvo makes it harder for me every year….

    • If Saab had gotten Chinese, a fate similar to that of Volvo is possible.

      But that doesn't have to be the case. Everything could have turned out differently.

      Maybe Volvo is missing the eternal rivalry with the small opponent from Gothenburg. I think both brands benefited from it and that's why they were so different and so “Swedish”. Without Saab competitors, Volvo is unfortunately just any brand with any product range and China mainstream.

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      When I see what Volvo is building under Chinese leadership, one can be glad that Saab AB, NEVS has withdrawn the naming rights! Only the 420 built NEVS Saab 9-3 with turbo are positive!
      It's good that we were spared StartStop, 3-cylinder, BMW engines, electrics, etc.!
      I will continue to take care of my Saabs and drive them for a long time and laugh at people who are traveling with 1 liter engines or electric carts.
      Incidentally, the quality of the Volvo vehicles under Ford management was the best Volvo has ever had! It was not for nothing that Tuve Johansson had to vacate his post as Volvo Car Manager because of the poor quality of the S80, and Hans Olof Olsson followed!

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    VOLVO lacks the competition from SAAB, well at least Polestar does not (yet) have an SUV, and number 1 would be my favorite at the moment if I were forced to buy a new vehicle.

    SUV sometimes makes sense, but only sometimes, that's why only one SUV found its way into our family's fleet (5 vehicles).

  • I won't miss Volvo ... it was just a decorative Swedish accessory for me anyway. The Volvos that I now meet on the road, frighteningly chubby from the outside. I cannot and will not judge inside.
    Why should I be interested in a Volvo if the vehicle doesn't appeal to me from the outside ...
    So: I SAAB full width! The “famous” way of thinking outside the box ..., the object doesn't have to come from Sweden ... ;-).

  • Yes, Tom, I can understand what you are writing ...
    Volvo with Google Assistant, I really don't want that, maybe I won't keep up with the times either, possible.
    For a long time, Volvo was an independent alternative for me: the 2, 7, and 9 series, they were solid, calm, comfortable mileage eaters. I also gave preference to my XC 70, Series 1, a 9-5 station wagon and I'm still very satisfied.
    But the products under the current management, see above ... ..
    It is enough if German premium manufacturers submit to Chinese tastes. Very questionable for me for various reasons!

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    Volvo is no longer an alternative. The former cleverness of doing things differently is history and design mainstream. The focus is on China and because they love fat SUVs there, they build these things. It's a shame because after parting with Ford, things seemed to be going well.

    Unfortunately, everything that would have been exciting did not become reality. No coupe and no Swedish convertible or a compact, small Volvo. Everything was subordinated to the pursuit of returns. Other brands have a better portfolio, no Chinese owners, and still offer individuality at a reasonable price. With Volvo and the prices called up, I'm now out. Not because I couldn't afford it. But because in this case I can't afford it.

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    I drove a Volvo myself at the end of the 90s, between 70-90.000 km every year. My neighbors thought I was trading cars, so once a week I came home with a replacement car. The quality was lousy. Operation and driving behavior were great, the 5 cylinder diesel was fun and the consumption was reasonable. But the trouble with the workshops and the Ford quality is unbelievable. Two years ago I was allowed to drive a V90CC D4 for a year. Scrubbed 72.000 km in one year. Great seats, space in the rear like the Skoda Superb, the driving behavior thanks to the air suspension on the rear axle is a dream. But 2 tons of steel quickly take a toll on brisk driving (11,5 l / 100 km diesel). Clearly too much in the class. And the service a horror, if I still think about it today I get a headache. Qualitatively one of the best vehicles I've driven. But soulless ... It doesn't just depend on the design, which one likes or dislikes. Vehicles must also be usable in everyday life. And if you cannot enter a navigation destination while driving (my children regularly laughed at each other when using the voice) and functions are simply hidden in the third or fourth level of the system, you very quickly lose pleasure in the vehicle. And the 1% taxpayer dreads the list prices. Even the cheapest leasing rate in its class doesn't help. In my opinion, it is the wrong policy to make vehicles more and more expensive and then lure corporate customers (80% of new car purchases are corporate customers) with high discounts. The individual then pays back at the end of the month through the monetary advantage. The short high of the brand (sometimes not driving Audi, BMW or Mercedes) seems to have just been a flash in the pan. In my opinion, Volvo has repeatedly put great vehicles on the road for a while, but then quickly lost the thread and dived into the third row. Everyone is only doing mainstream, SUVs are best with electric drives. But do we really want that? Where's that small, handy rear-wheel drive convertible that puts a smile on our faces in the mountains. Where are the beautiful shapes, the everyday cars that stand out from the uniformity. Designers like Bangle are no longer allowed (not everyone liked the design, but have been super successful for BMW), so the risk for the company would be far too high.

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      1% rule

      Nice that someone speaks to you. Both parties are a thorn in my side.
      The automotive industry is not buckling that its discount policy is counterproductive. The up to 25% discount compared to the list may be effective in advertising and boisterous, but in the end the buyer simply pays more to the tax authorities than is appropriate for a car whose real value as new is well below the list price.

      And the legislature is not interested in how harmful this regulation is for people and the environment, how unfair it is. An example: In 2009 a self-employed person buys a 9-5 SC BioPower with only 20 thousand kilometers and not yet 2 years old for only € 15.500. If he wants to use the 3 years according to the 1% rule without a logbook, he has to pay tax on around € 14.400 in monetary benefit - almost the entire purchase price - just to be able to deduct a few fuel receipts and service bills relatively unbureaucratically in return. That is completely grotesque. It's as if the state didn't want the self-employed to come to their customers with a used vehicle in a cost-conscious and environmentally conscious way. It's like a fine. Do you want to work? Do you need a car? You don't want to keep a logbook? No problem! Zack, open your hand. Money or life?

      That will not do.

    • Hi all,
      we drive, next to 3 Saab's, a Volvo V40 with the unique 5 cylinder 150HP diesel.
      Unfortunately, this great engine has been rationalized away. A great car, sporty, economical and at home on loooong journeys. I wanted a small, safe, modern and reliable car for my offspring, unfortunately Saab no longer offers this.
      Please no comments now about the reliability and safety of Saab, I drive a 2002 9-5 Aero station wagon as a company car, I don't want to miss it either 🙂

  • Volvo’s design is no longer exciting, I think. That's why I treated myself to a Lexus UX in addition to my SAAB 93. In any case, it's unusual in terms of design ...

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    Volvos, really great cars ...

    That was once. Personally, I'm a big Volvo fan, but funnily enough it ends with Saab's bankruptcy ...

    For me, Volvo made the better cars until the 1970s. After that, Saab is equivalent or even better for me, depending on which model with which engine we are talking about ...

    And after the Saab bankruptcy, nothing came from Gothenburg or China that would interest me.

    It is as if not only Saab but the entire Swedish automobile industry has been buried. At least that's my subjective and very personal perception ...

    For me, new Volvo cars are no consolation for the loss of Saab. And neither are Evergrande cars.

  • I also recently looked at Volvo as I am looking for a new company car. For me there are two conditions, a large trunk and at least 1.500 kg trailer load for my hobby sailing.
    If you are still looking for a plug-in hybrid, the air becomes very thin. I don't want an SUV, I prefer a station wagon. Only the V60 or V90 and the station wagons of the VW group remain, there are currently only a few. If you then take the price / performance ratio, the V60 is in a bad position, the V90 even worse. So I've now ended up with the Skoda Superb and my Saab fleet will unfortunately be reduced by a 9000er.

  • No love for Volvo from blogger and readers. I can understand that. Volvo is very successful, but the specific charm is gone. The 100% electrical strategy demonstrates that what is ordered in Beijing is obediently carried out.

    The times when there were independent, typically Swedish solutions and ways are over. Unfortunately, Volvo is only mainstream in China.

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    Reports about the automaker VOLVO, which has been in the hands of a Chinese super-rich for several years, are not my favorite reading anyway. Even the design of the current larger models seems somehow cheeky to me - this is particularly true of the S 90 and V 90 series.
    A similarly covered front section can also be found on newer BMW models - there, too, it is probably due to the taste of Chinese customers.

    I am looking forward to new topics relating to our favorite brand SAAB - this should really be the focus in the future. Nevertheless, you are welcome to look outside the box - but there are also other brands than VOLVO, which could be reported on here blog next to SAAB every now and then.

  • Since Volvo announced that it would no longer use diesel engines but only rely on electric drives, the Volvo issue has been done for me.
    Furthermore, the plug-ins drink too much without the electric drive, so for me as a frequent driver of no interest.
    Model politics with a focus on SUVs are also not for me.
    Pity …

  • I thought the Lynk is based on the XC40 ?!

    • There is now a big Lynk for China. That's a disguised Volvo XC90.

  • As you said, Volvo is a popular topic so far. I feel the same way, I can't do anything with the many SUVs. My interest is also more in the direction of sedans, coupes, convertibles. So S60, S80, possibly the station wagon derivatives too. Coupe? No, convertible? also nil. The development and dilution of the brand by the owner also comes into play, so that, unlike in the past, Volvo no longer plays a role or is of interest to me. It's a shame actually.


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