Volvo car sales in the United States were down 9.9% from a not wildly high October 2009. Yes, Volvo sales were up last year, but only up to the point at which Volvo USA was the ninth-best-selling luxury car brand in America. Lo and behold, Volvo USA was the ninth-best-selling luxury car brand in America in October 2010, as well. Sales go up; sales go down; Volvo is a long way from battling even Lincoln for eighth place.
Volvo’s most popular model in October wasn’t their most recently introduced model, the 2011 Volvo S60. No, the S60 wasn’t even as successful as the struggling S80, a car long-thought to be uncompetitive. It’s true that the new Volvo S60 hasn’t really had time in the marketplace to “meet people”, but sales are actually down from last month.
So why does a Volvo fan harp on Volvo’s struggles? And why aren’t Volvo’s selling? Volvo’s message is perhaps a bit muddied: safety then style, style then safety. In the end, Volvos compete in really challenging segments and there are numerous less successful cars in those segments. Volvo just happens to put a few middling performers together, an act which combined for 3996 American sales in October.