Last year at this time, Volvo Canada sales had dipped 16% to 380 units. While paying attention to Volvo’s positive returns in October 2010, keep October 2008 at the front of your mind. In October 2008, Volvo Canada sold 453 vehicles…. and there was no XC60.
Set aside October 2009 for a moment longer. The long-in-tooth 2010 Volvo XC90 wasn’t so long in the tooth two years ago. Volvo sold 133 XC90s in October 2008. Volvo also sold 150 of its small cars – the C30, S40, and V50 – whereas October 2010 only saw Volvo sell 91 examples of that trio in Canada. Yeah, the new XC60 is helping, and it’s a good thing it is. Other Volvo models are being rejected like overcooked fish in a sushi bar. Sure, there isn’t a huge market for hardtop convertibles, in October, in Canada, from Sweden, but Volvo managed to sell 12 of them last year. As in the U.S., you can be partially justified in claiming the 2011 Volvo S60 isn’t in the full swing of things. But last month, when the swing had not fully swung, Volvo sold more S60s.
Volvo Canada sales were down in October 2009 when BMW and Mercedes-Benz and Audi all posted sales improvements over October 2008. This year, Volvo improved. But so did BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi. The rules of this game are changing, and it appears Volvo is not part of the rules committee. The game is moving on.