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Volvo Reveals Concept Estate Ahead of Geneva Debut

Completes concept trilogy.

by on Feb.27, 2014

Volvo debuts the third in its trilogy of concept vehicles at the Geneva Motor Show: the Volvo Concept Estate.

There are plenty of big changes coming at Volvo, the Swedish maker planning a major shift in its powertrain strategy, opening a pair of factories in China – and adopting a new, and much more expressive design language.

We’ve been getting hints of where the styling side of that equation will head as Volvo has rolled out a trio of concept vehicles over the last three months covering three of its primary body styles.

Product News!

It began with the Frankfurt Motor Show reveal of the Volvo Concept Coupe, continued at Detroit North American International Auto Show with the unveiling of the Concept XC Coupe – and will wrap up at next week’s Geneva Motor Show with the debut of the Volvo Concept Estate. (more…)

Volvo’s Radical New Powertrain Line-up Debuts

Maker dropping old Ford engines by 2015.

by on Jan.24, 2014

The 2015 Volvo V60 will debut the new Drive-E engines, as will the new S60 and XC60 models.

Hoping to establish itself as a significant player in the global luxury car market, Volvo is making an $11 billion investment in new products and the plants to build them – an aggressive and much-needed plan that puts a particular premium on an all-new line-up of advanced powertrains that Volvo promises will deliver both segment-leading mileage and world-class performance.

The first of the maker’s models equipped with the new Drive-E engine family are just beginning to roll into U.S. showrooms this month – and they mark the beginning of the end of the relationship between the Swedish-based company and Ford Motor Co. that began when the Detroit maker purchased Volvo Cars in 1999.

The Last Word!

But the powertrain program isn’t without its risks, Volvo officials acknowledge. Among other things, it will mean convincing upscale buyers who traditional equate displacement with desirability that a high-tech 4-cylinder engine can be as good, or better, than the six- and eight-cylinder powertrains that traditionally dominate the luxury market.

The goal is to create a family of “smaller, more intelligent engines that will turn the V -8 engine into a dinosaur,” proclaims Derek Crabb Volvo’s vice president of powertrain engineering.

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Volvo Concept Provides Glimpse at Maker’s Design Future

Concept XC Coupe aims to inspire an active outdoor life.

by on Jan.15, 2014

Volvo's Coupe XC concept is supposed to evoke a vision of an active outdoor life, said Senior Vice President Thomas Ingenlath.

Volvo is in the midst of debuting three concept vehicles at three different auto shows, and at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, it showed the Volvo Concept XC Coupe, which is the second of three.

It’s the successor to the Volvo Concept C that we first saw at the Frankfurt Motor Show last autumn, which Volvo insiders confirmed as giving the world a good sense of the company’s future design direction.

Automotive Insight!

The the second of three concepts is supposed to show classic Scandinavian design, “timeless beauty,” according to Volvo Senior Vice President Thomas Ingenlath, as well as an “active outdoor life.” (more…)

Volvo Bringing Concept XC Coupé to Detroit Auto Show

The design indicates future product styling for maker.

by on Dec.11, 2013

Volvo provided a sneak peak at its XC Concept coming to the Detroit Auto Show.

Volvo continued its three-vehicle concept study today when it rolled out a few pictures of its Concept XC Coupé, which will debut in Detroit at the North American International Auto Show in January.

The XC concept borrows some cues from the Swedish maker’s Cross Country and XC models to produce a new look.

Facts You Can Quote!

The first of the three concepts was the Volvo Concept Coupé. It was shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September and for those who were used to the bland, boxy designs from Volvo’s past, it was an impressive break from that “heritage.” (more…)

GM, Audi, Volvo Make Gains, Ford Stumbles in Consumer Reports Reliability Study

Lexus, Acura, Toyota Still Lead – but Toyota Camry loses “Recommended” rating.

by on Oct.28, 2013

Ford's C-Max Energi was the lowest-rated vehicle in the new CR reliability survey.

While Japanese makers continue to dominate the influential Consumer Reports annual vehicle reliability survey, General Motors, Audi and Volvo made significant gains, each cracking into the Top 10 this year.

While Detroit makers, on the whole, have been gaining ground, Ford Motor Co. dipped well below average. The second-largest of the domestic auto manufacturers has been hammered by complaints about its digital infotainment systems – an issue that has been causing grief for many of its competitors, as well, according to the CR survey of 1.1 million vehicle owners.

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The annual survey contained a number of surprises, including some unexpected problems plaguing traditionally Japanese manufacturers. Meanwhile, Consumer Reports announced that some of the most popular Asian products, including Toyota’s Camry, RAV4 and Prius V models, have lost their coveted “Recommended Buy” rating because of their poor performance in new crash tests.

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Volvo’s Chinese Fire Drill

New owner Geely hopes to ignite Volvo sales around the world.

by on Jun.21, 2013

Workers assembling a pilot S60L sedan at the new Volvo plant in Chengdu.

The assembly line creeps along at a glacial pace.  For the next few months, the workers at the sprawling plant on the outskirts of the Sichuanese capital of Chengdu will be carefully trained before the first cars actually roll into Chinese showrooms.

But eventually, if all goes according to plan, the factory will be running at a frantic rate.  Long little more than an after-thought in the global luxury market, Volvo Cars has ambitions to challenge more established brands like Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

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At least, that’s the goal set by Geely which purchased the Swedish maker from Ford Motor Co. three years ago.  The ambitious Chinese conglomerate plans to invest at least $6 billion to rebuild Volvo, completely updating its product line-up and adding new plants to produce them, starting with the factory in Chengdu and another in China’s Northeast industrial belt.

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Internet Abuzz About Volvo Teaser Campaign

Swedish maker may be pulling off a surprise.

by on May.17, 2013

Volvo's new teaser campaign leaves everyone guessing.

The Internet has been abuzz about the possible hidden meaning behind a trio of short video teasers from Volvo. With the tagline, “Leave the World Behind,” each features a member of the once-popular band, Swedish House Mafia, along with a mysterious vehicle that, the rumor mill is betting, could be the prototype of a new crossover.

Now owned by China’s Geely, Volvo promises to solve the mystery later today at a European news conference. But sources have spilled the herring, as it were, and TheDetroitBureau.com can clue you in on what to expect.  Actually, we’ll start by telling you what not to expect: a new car.

News from a Source You Can Trust!

While TheDetroitBureau.com’s sources wouldn’t reveal all the details, they hinted that what we’re witnessing is a reunion of the once popular group — though considering the fact that the three Swedish House Mafia band members appear in separate teaser videos, we’ll have to wait to see how they all come together.

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Muscle Car Wars

Horsepower getting as much attention as mileage.

by on Apr.01, 2013

Chevrolet's new 2014 Camaro Z28 is attracting big crowds at New York Auto Show.

“Where’s the Z/28?” asked 16-year-old Michael Kimberly as he wandered through the Jacob Javits convention center in New York on Saturday morning, tagging along on a tour his parents had signed up for at the New York International Auto Show.

The two older Kimberlys were there to check out all the “green cars,” including the new Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid and Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid models making their debuts at the annual show. But younger Michael, about to get his driver’s license, had something decidedly different in mind – the super-high-performance version of the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro that was the biggest surprise introduction at the 2013 NYIAS.

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The 550-horsepower “pony car” has been drawing deep crowds to the Javits Center’s somewhat-isolated North Hall since the show opened its doors to the public last week. But it’s not alone.

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Chinese-Owned Volvo Won’t Abandon Sweden

Swedish Royals return the favor, Prince Carl Philip set to race for Volvo Polestar team.

by on Dec.05, 2012

Swedish Prince Carl Philip will race with the Volvo Polestar team next year. Photo courtesy Autoblog.com

Sweden’s Prince Carl Philip will be strapping on a helmet and racing for the Volvo Polestar team in the Swedish Touring Car Championship next year.  Consider it returning a favor.

Despite its historic ties to the Scandinavian nation, Volvo hasn’t been Swedish owned in a decade.  It was sold to Ford Motor Co. in January 1999 and then to China’s Geely two years ago. That maker has plans to launch production in its home market, leading some to worry if it wouldn’t eventually cut ties to Volvo’s homeland.  Not to worry, officials have announced.

Come Along for the Ride!

“Almost half of the approximately US $11 billion investments covering the years 2011 to 2015 will be spent in Sweden in the form of infrastructure for the new vehicle architecture and engine family,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President and CEO of Volvo Car Group. “This is a proof of Volvo Car Group’s determination to strengthen the company’s position as a Swedish car maker with a unique attractiveness on the global market.”

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Pedestrian Deaths Up – Experts Want Answers, Solutions

New regulations may follow.

by on Aug.07, 2012

Volvo's auto braking system can detect pedestrians in the road and bring the car to a quick stop.

After years of steady decline there are some disturbing signs that the downward trend in traffic fatalities may be over.  With reports already suggesting vehicle deaths were up for the first part of the year, a new study shows a sharp, 4% increase in pedestrian fatalities, as well.

The upturn in pedestrian deaths came in 2010, the most recent year for which data are available, but it marks the first increase since 2005 – a point at which all motor vehicle-related fatalities began to tumble sharply.

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A total of 4,280 pedestrians were killed in vehicle-related incidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, another 70,000 injured. In 2010, pedestrian deaths accounted for 13% of all traffic fatalities.  That compared with 11% between 2002 and 2007.  That reflects both the increase in pedestrian crashes as well as the decline in overall motor vehicle fatalities.

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