June 08, 2011

Volvos and Bozos

According to Monday's Wall Street Journal, Volvo's management are at each others' throats over strategy for the brand.

This should be no surprise.

Almost 4 years ago, on Sept, 7, 2007, in a post called "Smelly Volvo Families," we had the following to say about Volvo...
"Volvo is making a classic marketing mistake. They are trying to be someone else... they are aiming to be the second best BMW. ... TAC predicts that they will learn this the hard way. They have relinquished their unique reason for being."
A few days later I wrote a post called "Account Planners Gone Wild" on the idiocy of Volvo's strategy. I wrote...
"I know agencies are brilliant at coming up with this bullshit, but what kind of nitwit clients actually believe it?"
Since then, a lot has happened.

In 2008 Volvo sales in the US dropped over 30%. In 2009, they dropped another 22%.

In 2010, Ford, who had bought Volvo and was hemorrhaging money from the acquisition, sold Volvo to a Chinese company called Geely.

Now Geely's ceo and Volvo's top European executive are in a pissing match over -- guess what -- Volvo marketing strategy.

The Whole Foods crowd have already abandoned their Volvos for Subarus and Priuses. It's hard to see how Volvo is going to get those people back, regardless of their strategy.

Volvo has screwed up the US market pretty comprehensively. Their best hope may be to find a strategy that can work for them in their new home country -- China.

No comments: