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jca's avatar

Do you think the prestige of a new Volvo will be lessened, now that China purchased Volvo from Ford?

Asked by jca (36043points) April 1st, 2010

I heard on the news yesterday that China purchased Volvo from Ford. Right now, having a Volvo is somewhat prestigious (i know, not the most prestigious but more so than a regular Honda, Toyota or American car). Do you think Volvo’s reputation will be cheapened by China’s purchase of the car company?

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29 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

No. Lotus is owned by Proton, which is a Malaysian Car company, and Lotus is still a highly regarded brand.
I think Volvo will actually improve, because Ford did not handle the brand well.

Coloma's avatar

Who cares?

‘Prestige’ is all in the mind anyway.

China will be making Volvo’s to spec. all thats changing is ownership of title.

ParaParaYukiko's avatar

Considering all the hype recently about “buying American” I can see the change in ownership could have influence on some peoples’ opinions. However I don’t think the quality of the cars will change that much – it might even improve, who knows? Fords (at least in my experience, maybe not Volvos; I’ve never owned a Volvo) are kind of notorious for sucking – Fix Or Repair Daily and Found On Road Dead come to mind, whereas imports tend to be a bit more reliable.

I can also see people freaking out about how China is steadily “taking over the world.”

jaytkay's avatar

In most US consumer’s minds, Saab and Volvo weren’t changed by GM and Ford ownership.

As long as they continue most manufacturing in Sweden, and don’t blend models too much with other marks. Though I think the Volvo S40/Ford Focus/Mazda3 worked well for all three brands.

jca's avatar

You all don’t think that China’s cost cutting methods to the point of endangering welfare of people will affect the rep? remember the pet food scandal – deaths of hundreds of American dogs and cats due to pet foods being manufactured with ingredients from China? Remember the lead paint controversy – was it Christmas 2008? where they found lead paint in toys (mostly plastic toys, which is probably 99% of toys) manufactured in China? Might people be cautious with China’s reputation for that type of “endangering to save $$?”

ragingloli's avatar

@jca
Volvo is a European company where its main market is also located. And there are quality and safety standards that are required by law and that are associated with the brand. The chinese owner, if it even puts Volvo under chinese management and not as an autonomous unit, will necessarily have to abide by these standards, otherwise the brand dies, no one will buy Volvos anymore and they will have wasted 1.2 billion pounds for a brand that will only incur further losses.
So no, I am not worried about the chinese turning Volvo into a joke brand.

jaytkay's avatar

You all don’t think that China’s cost cutting methods to the point of endangering welfare of people will affect the rep?...Might people be cautious with China’s reputation for that type of “endangering to save $$?”

Walmart would not exist If the average American understood that.

jca's avatar

yes but Walmart is not a car that you go speeding down the highway in, or with your precious family in, or on a country road in the rain in.

noyesa's avatar

@jca No, you just stuff food in your kids’ mouths, cover your dwelling with belongings, household cleaners, and furnishings from Walmart. Clearly a big difference.

noyesa's avatar

I don’t think the image of a car brand has anything to do with ownership. Contrary to popular belief, most modern American cars last as long and are as reliable as anything imported. Not more reliable, but generally just as good. Despite all the rave reviews from Motortrend, Consumer Reports, and a bazillion other independent groups, there is forever the stigma of the past 20 years that American cars are cheap rolling death traps that guzzle gas like it’s free, Japanese cars are better and fuel efficient, and European cars are best engineered.

The truth is a huge gray area, as with anything else.

ragingloli's avatar

Reliability is not everything. There is also design, engineering, build quality, quality of materials, comfort, fuel economy and above all, driving dynamics. Points in which american cars are generally lacking.

noyesa's avatar

@ragingloli Not true. This is why ownership, nationality, and quality have nothing to do with how a brand is percieved.

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CyanoticWasp's avatar

Think about it this way:

What if you met a girl with the best qualities of Asian and Swedish good looks, and the sexual appetite and uninhibited nature of the Swede?

Damn. I want me a Volvo right now.

ParaParaYukiko's avatar

@bencyanoticwaspew Haha… interesting analogy! Mixed Asian people do tend to be seriously good looking, you’re right about that.

Idknown's avatar

Lenovo. American Corporations still use it.

boxing's avatar

You know, let’s be real here. Okay, the Volvo cars would probably remain the same regardless who owns the company, and would probably remain operationally independent as a Swedish car manufacturer.

But, I can see some people might want to move away from it since there are quite a lot of choices out there. It is not like a much more main stream brand like Ford and Chevy, luxury car buyers care much more about reputation by association. Just my 2 cents.

dpworkin's avatar

Ford managed to reduce the prestige of Volvo all by itself, just as it did the Jaguar and the Land Rover. Chinese hands-off ownership (which is what they promise) could actually reinstate Volvo as a decent marque.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Ford and GM did a pretty good job of wrecking the reputations of both Swedish car brands. The Chinese can’t make it any worse. Now if M-B would start marketing a “lowline” diesel again (the “taxicab’ models); now those are cars worth having.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I think the brand will improve under the competitiveness of the Chinese, Ford didn’t do any favors and in my mind at least, the prestige of several brands that came under domestic went down.

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Fred931's avatar

[mod that isnt me says] last post could have been taken as racist

So far, the Chinese haven’t been so bad. Look at what they did to the boring old S60.

jaytkay's avatar

That S60 is a Chinese design? Ford still owns Volvo, the sale won’t be complete until Q3 2010.

Fred931's avatar

I wasn’t very smart with both chances I had to make a sensical comment. The sale shouldn’t really affect the brand as dramatically as much as the guys who work at Volvo already. They should be part of the package that we’re sending to the People’s Republic. I have a magazine article on this, let me go dig it up…

Fred931's avatar

The mag says Volvo designed the concept in 2008, and it has hardly changed from that. It definitely isn’t Chinese, but like I said, the sale probably won’t make the automaker like the ones that currently operate out of China.

I’m just glad that they’re getting rid of the old S60. Ew. It’s based off of a Ford sold elsewhere called the Mondeo, which gets fantabulous remarks. I’m not surprised that isn’t sold here mostly because we are buffoons enough to believe that diesels are still very polluting and inefficient cars despite the fact that there is a Ford Fiesta ECOnetic that gets 65MPG and <100g CO2/km. It’s supposed to rival the Merc C-class, Audi A4, and BMW 3-series.

jaytkay's avatar

Where is Volvo’s design studio? I kinda remember that So. California was a popular spot.

Fred931's avatar

I’m gonna guess Sweden?

carsinghblogger's avatar

Isn’t everything made in China anyway? Most auto components are anyways manufactured in China. I don’t think I would hesitate to buy a Volvo just because it was made by a Chinese company.

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