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First Drive: 2018 Volvo V90 R-Design

An engaging package of style, performance and luxury.

by on Oct.13, 2017

The Volvo V90 may be the leader of the pack when it comes to the resurgent station wagon segment.

Don’t look now but the station wagon is quietly making something of a comeback.

It might not be a huge comeback and a fair number of manufacturers are loath to even mention the words “station wagon” in their various sales pitches. However, with the appearance of the V90, Volvo is definitely embracing the station wagon.

Reviews You Can Use!

Moreover, the V90 is hardly a retro-vehicle eager to get in touch with some kind Mad Men-era chic. Instead it’s a fully updated vehicle with a luxurious interior and an exterior that completely re-invents the appearance with fresh lines, curves and angles kept well within envelope traditionally occupied by station wagon with its low but elongated profile.  (more…)

Volvo Will Build XC90 at Expanded Charleston Plant

“Underscores our commitment to the United States.”

by on Sep.26, 2017

Volvo is enjoying strong sales in the U.S. with products like the XC90, which will now be built in Charleston, South Carolina, starting in 2021.

Volvo now plans to produce its most popular vehicle in the United States with the XC90 set to start rolling off the Swedish maker’s new Charleston, South Carolina assembly plant in 2021.

The announcement also confirms that Volvo will double the size of the facility, which was originally intended to produce the mid-range S60 sedan when it goes into operation next year. The expansion will bring the total cost of the Charleston complex to $1.1 billion, about $520 million more than was originally announced. And it will now employ nearly 4,000 hourly and salaried workers.

Product News!

The expansion, which was first reported earlier this month by, “underscores our commitment to the United States,” said Lex Kerssemakers, who served as CEO of Volvo Cars North America until Sept. 15. He is now heading European operations. (more…)

When it Comes to Jobs, Automakers Give – and Take Away

Industry announces plans for 12,000 jobs long-term, but cutbacks costing thousands now.

by on Sep.25, 2017

Mercedes is one of the automakers getting set to expand U.S. operations and create new jobs.

If you’re looking for a job at an auto assembly plant, hang tight, there will be thousands of new openings over the next several years. But for now, you might want to look elsewhere.

The auto industry was one of the sparks that helped set fire to the U.S. economy after the Great Recession, and since just the beginning of the year, manufacturers ranging BMW to Volvo have announced plans to add at least 12,000 new jobs as they add new U.S. assembly plants or expand existing ones.


A Year Before it Opens, Volvo Set to Double Size of New Charleston Plant

Will start with S60; second model to be announced "soon."

by on Sep.20, 2017

The new Volvo XC60 is anchoring parent Geely's ambitious global expansion plans.

The first car isn’t scheduled to roll down the assembly line at Volvo’s new Charleston, South Carolina assembly plant for another year, but the automaker already appears to be optimistic enough to plan for a second, $1 billion line.

The plant will become Volvo’s first assembly plant in the U.S., and will combine its capacity with two new facilities that have already opened in China. The Charleston facility originally was designed with just one line, and was expected to produce about 140,000 vehicles annually – relatively small by modern automotive standards. Sources indicate that will be boosted to more than 200,000 with the addition of a second line.

Breaking News!

“The factory is extremely important for Volvo,” Lex Kerssemakers, the CEO of Volvo North America, told during an interview last month. Among other things, he said, when the original investment was announced “it sent a signal” to both consumers and dealers that Volvo was making a serious commitment to the U.S. market.


Volvo’s Top Executives Swapping Jobs

Move is designed to help company's long-term planning.

by on Aug.29, 2017

Lex Kerssemakers is taking over the leadership of the company's EMEA car business.

With the company heading for record sales again this year, Volvo Cars is switching up its senior management team with a move with implications for the automaker’s succession planning.

Volvo said the Senior Vice Presidents for the Americas region and for Europe, the Middle East and Africa will switch jobs.

Global Auto News!

Effective Sept. 15, Lex Kerssemakers will be responsible for the EMEA region. He was previously Senior Vice President for Volvo Americas and President and CEO of Volvo Cars USA. Kerssemakers will be replaced in the Americas by Anders Gustafsson, who was Head of EMEA. (more…)

Volvo Wants to Change the Way Americans Buy New Vehicles

Test focuses on V60 wagon; could expand to more models.

by on Aug.24, 2017

Volvo has two different buying processes for its two different V90 options. Buyers can order a V90 the way they want it.

While most American motorists now use the Internet to do their initial research, it has done little to change the rest of the new car buying process. Shoppers still go to the showroom to negotiate their best price for whatever is on the lot.

But Volvo is hoping to shift that process. But while the Internet will play even more of a role in the process of ordering the Swedish maker’s new 2018 V90 model, it will actually take shoppers longer to drive home in the new wagon.

News You Can Trust!

That’s because Volvo is using the V90 to try to shift to a more European-style shopping process. Where American motorists typically seek instant gratification, taking delivery the same day they go out shopping, buyers in Europe are far more likely to customize their vehicles, even if that means waiting weeks to take delivery, notes Lex Kerssemakers, CEO of Volvo Cars of North America. (more…)

Driver Assistance Tech Saving Lives, Preventing Crashes

Study finds big benefits from Lane Warning, Blind Spot Detection.

by on Aug.23, 2017

Cars using Lane Departure Warning typically use cameras to spot lane markers.

New, high-tech driver assistance systems like Lane Departure Warning and Blind Spot Detection, or LDW and BLIS, are helping sharply reduce the number of crashes on U.S. roadways, in the process curbing injuries and reducing deaths.

Those and other technologies, including forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking, are becoming increasingly common on today’s new vehicles and two new studies by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety suggest they may have been a factor in the recent decline in U.S. automotive fatalities.

Safety News!

Some safety experts believe that what are collectively known as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, or ADAS, are critical in offsetting an epidemic of distracted driving crashes, though there are also concerns that motorists might come to rely too heavily on the technologies and not be as vigilant as possible.


Volvo, Geely Create Joint Venture Aimed at EV Market

New deal helps reduce development costs.

by on Jul.21, 2017

Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson expects development and production costs to drop with the new joint venture with Geely and Lynk.

With its profits climbing 21.4% in the first half of 2017, Volvo Cars is planning to set up a new joint venture technology company with Geely Holding. The new deal is designed to reduce development and production costs.

Volvo’s venture with the Chinese car group is to “share existing and future technology, deepen industrial synergies and provide the economies of scale that will allow them to more rapidly develop next generation electrified vehicle technology,” the two companies said in a joint statement.

Global Auto News!

Volvo Cars, Geely Auto and Lynk & Co. will share vehicle architecture and engine technologies through cross licensing arrangements of technologies managed by the new joint venture. The new partners will also commonly sourcing components cutting procurement costs. (more…)

France Expected to Ban Gas, Diesel Vehicles – But Not Until 2040

“A very difficult objective,” admits Environment Minister.

by on Jul.07, 2017

Even before the latest proposal, Paris was considering a ban on diesel vehicles.

France could become one of the first countries to ban the sale of vehicles running on fossil fuels, the country’s Environment Minister this week proposing a complete transition to zero-emissions vehicles.

But it won’t happen quickly, Nicolas Hulot’s plan expected to take until 2040 to roll out. And the minister admitted the “revolution” he is proposing would create some serious challenges for the auto industry. It does help that both French-based automakers have already made major commitments to shift to electric propulsion.

The Last Word!

A number of countries are focusing on alternative powertrain technologies, ranging from hybrids to pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, as well as hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. That includes China, the world’s largest automotive market. But none have yet gone as far as to actively consider plans to eliminate gas and diesel vehicle sales entirely.


Volvo Parent Geely Buys Flying Car Start-up Terrafugia

Flying car race heating up fast.

by on Jul.05, 2017

Looking like the flying car in "Back to the Future," a rendering shows the Terrafugia Transition in flight.

The long-held dream of building a flying car may be coming a big step closer to reality now that Geely, the deep-pocket parent of Volvo Cars has acquired Terrafugia, a start-up launched by a group of MIT alum.

Among an assortment of companies hoping to build flying cars, Terrafugia is one of the furthest along, with the Massachusetts-based firm already going airborne with prototype designs. More importantly, the Terrafugia Transition last year won a critical certification from the Federal Aviation Administration that would make it easier for owners to take to the air.

Take Wing!

Funding from Zhejiang Geely could be what’s needed to push Terrafugia over the top, especially as it now faces a range of competitors hoping to take off with their own flying car and flying taxi concepts. That includes Slovakian start-up AeroMobil and Germany’s Lilium, as well as aerospace giant Airbus. Even Uber wants to get into the act, the car-sharing service recently announcing plans to take its operation airborne with a concept it has dubbed Uber Elevate.