Volvo Launches 'Revival Plan' To Reverse Six-Year Sales Decline

Jan 26, 2015 03:00 PM EST | Jordan Ecarma

Tags Volvo, sales, US, XC90

Volvo plans to reverse its sales misfortunes by rolling out several new models this year including the XC90 large crossover and V60 Cross Country wagon.

"The revival plan of the U.S. starts now, and it will be very much product and brand driven," Lex Kerssemakers, CEO of Volvo Cars of North America, told Automotive News. "With a strong network, a strong brand, strong products and a good financial offer, I'm convinced Volvo will be back on track."

Besides the XC90 and V60 offerings, Volvo plans to bring the S60 Inscription sedan to the United States from China.

Even in a stellar year for the American auto industry, Volvo saw an 8 percent sales decline year over year in 2014, closing out the fourth quarter with a market share of only 0.3 percent--half of what it held a decade earlier. The brand has posted slowing sales every year since 2009. 

Volvo aims to return to 100,000 units in annual U.S. sales; for reference, the luxury brand sold only 56,366 in 2014.

Kerssemakers plans to infuse the brand with new energy by introducing the new models and investing in marketing campaigns. Volvo dealers have seen slow sales due to the age of vehicles on their lots, something that should be rectified in the near future.

"The dealers have faced a situation where they did not get fresh products in the way they were used to from Volvo," said Kerssemakers, as quoted by Automotive News. "So we need to show them and convince them that this is coming, so that they start to invest in the brand Volvo again. Those elements should lead us to the 100,000 and to a sustainable equation."

The diagnosis from research firm IHS Automotive isn't quite so optimistic; IHS predicts that Volvo will reach just 80,000 units in U.S. sales by 2020.

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