6th Apr 2015, 15:52
I found out about Volvo dealers refusing to take S80s in trade the hard way. When repairs on my S80 topped $30K, I reached out to Volvo for relief and they offered a $5K discount on purchase of a new one in 2003. Good deal! Volvo was already loading $5K of dealer incentive money into the trunks of new S80s to help make them go away, so it made sense to offer that money directly to owners. My S80 had a book value of $16K, and with Volvo’s $5K, that helped put me on the road toward a new one.
I’d picked out a non-turbo variant at my dealer to avoid the GM transmission ‘problem’, and arrived at a price agreement for the new car before turning to my trade. $5K was the dealer’s maximum offer, because he didn’t want it on his lot and that was the most a wholesaler would pay. I noted there were two S80s already sitting on the dealer’s lot that had a lot more miles and wear than my cosmetically pristine car that he was offering for $22K. The dealer said they had been sitting there for over eight months and he wouldn’t put another S80 on his lot. After hearing the exact same story from two more dealers, it became clear that Volvo and its dealers had no workable remedies. Volvo turned my $53K invested ($43K purchase price plus $2K for extended service contract, plus $8K in out of pocket repairs) into $5K in less than five years. Thank goodness I’d purchased the extended service contract, because they actually shouldered the lion’s share of financial damage for the out of warranty repairs.
7th Apr 2015, 15:11
The problem with these posts are they are based on stories from over 10 years ago. Yes, people do remember a bad experience, and perhaps here, Volvo UK dealt with problems better than Volvo America, but ALL manufacturers have bad spells (Even LEXUS - see RX300 gearboxes), but basing facts NOW on something that happened over 10 years ago is very out of date. Unfortunately Volvo was managed by FORD MOTOR COMPANY when all this happened, and therefore it was FORD's management that made these vital decisions - Volvo had no choice but to agree. It's a shame that Volvo is now being judged under the same blanket, given that Ford no longer own them and the company is trying to grow under new ownership.
I accept the S80 P2 platform was being developed before Ford owned Volvo, but it was how it was dealt with that gives people the problems, and that was Ford's doing. Thank god they don't own them anymore, and Geely are wanting Volvo to succeed. Volvo can make excellent cars (the XC90 with a production run of over 10 years) and will start doing so again... this time around wanting to succeed.
7th Apr 2015, 17:45
The statement about Volvo's overall sales and market share increasing is true only when you include their home market of China, but overall European and US sales have otherwise been trending downward in the midst of robust automotive markets. Volvo's combined European and US sales totaled 310,976 in calendar year 2014, representing 1.1% share of a 28.5M combined auto market. Volvo closed out 2011 with sales of 323,607 in Europe/US, reflecting 1.2% market share of a 26.3M combined auto market. In this period overall sales in Europe/US grew by 2.2 million units, however Volvo's combined sales dropped by 12,631 units.
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., the owner of Volvo Cars, is led by Chinese billionaire Li Shufu, whose strategy is to grow Volvo with new factories in China. To support; the central Chinese government has committed to add Volvo cars to approved purchase lists for official fleets that totaled 750,000 cars in 2012. This will ensure the factories slated for China will be successful, and hopefully bring Volvo the scale they need to be competitive.
In 2016 Volvo will test consumer appetites for Chinese-built cars with the S60L, a lengthened S60 sedan built entirely in China. Hopefully the Chinese-built S60L will provide better reliability than my Swedish-built S80 T6.
8th Apr 2015, 12:02
I hope so too. Hopefully it'll be as reliable as my 2005 S60, which is up to 160k miles, and replaced a 2005 V70, which I sold with 293k miles, and neither gave/gives me any problems whatsoever. Go Volvo!
8th Apr 2015, 22:51
This is a review is of a 1999 Volvo S80 T6 and the comments being added concern people’s ownership experiences with THESE vehicles. Posts will potentially continue to be added as long as folks continue to amass ownership experiences with these cars.
Comments concerning problems with Mercedes cars, Ford cars and now with Lexus cars have no bearing on owner's experiences with Volvo S80s and that's the problem with these posts.
To be clear: the P2 bodied S80 was released to market in 1998, one year before Volvo Car Corporation was purchased by Ford Motor Company. Ford had no hand in the design, engineering, vendor/component selection or build. There is no evidence that Ford compelled Volvo to continue building S80s with the same defects from 1998-2006. Volvo was solely responsible for this vehicle.
The Chinese company Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. bought Volvo in 2010 for $1.3 billion from Ford who paid $6 billion eleven years previously. For the Chinese to successfully rebuild Volvo will require reducing Volvo’s persistently high costs, along with tens of billions of new investment to develop new products, coupled with brand and marketing know-how. It won’t be a slam-dunk even in Volvo’s home market in China, where previous success with consumers was driven by the brand cachet associated with Volvo as a European brand. Chinese consumers are exceptionally brand conscious and have shown little enthusiasm for Chinese brands. If Chinese consumers perceive Volvo as a Chinese company, the strategy could unravel in short order.
The jury will be out for many years whether Geely will be successful to raise the necessary capital; how consumers in domestic and export markets will respond to Chinese Volvos, and how Geely (founded in 1986 as a refrigerator-maker) will develop the automotive marketing skillsets to be successful in intensely competitive global auto markets.
While I wish Geely every success to rebuild the iconic Volvo brand, I won’t be queueing up with another $50K of my money to spin the dice gambling they’ll get it all right. If Geely doesn't succeed to get all the moving parts of this complex puzzle in place, the price will be paid by owners of new Volvos in the form of diminished residual values. Those are long odds in my book.