AD #2187 – First Look: Volvo XC60, Mercedes Plans to Electrify Entire Line-Up, China Considers Banning Gas & Diesel Cars

September 11th, 2017 at 12:06pm

Runtime: 7:29

To watch this episode on YouTube click here.

- Mercedes Plans to Electrify Entire Line-Up
- China Considers Banning Gas & Diesel Cars
- Maven Helps GM Connect With Millennials
- GKN’s Electric Driveline
- First Look: New Volvo XC60

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27 Comments to “AD #2187 – First Look: Volvo XC60, Mercedes Plans to Electrify Entire Line-Up, China Considers Banning Gas & Diesel Cars”

  1. WineGeek Says:

    Sean what happened to Volvo’s vaunted history of safety? IMHO Volvo seems to have missed what made their cars so popular with families and particularly women over the past years. Their safety features were always at the forefront of their ads and their image. I listened carefully to the Volvo presentation and there was not a hint about safety. They are not selling to the BMW buyer they need to change their focus otherwise they are just another me too vehicle who has been out of the market for years and has increased their prices by 30 or 40%. Where is the reason to purchase? The Volvo marketing department needs to come up with a reason to convert a consumer from another brand they lost all of their past customers by not having product for years and years.

  2. Barry T Says:

    1 I imagine Volvo has realized that pretty much all cars in a given segment are very near parity in safety and the cost to be very significantly above that mark would be very high.

    Although I agree that historically safety was a big draw for Volvo buyers, I would suggest that the Swedish design element was also a second way they stood out and clearly from this story, design is their a new focus. Truth be told, although other looks remarks have found driving experience or quality or luck Sharee

  3. Barry T Says:

    Never use voice to text to try to submit a comment LOL! What I was trying to say was, design is an important aspect to all the luxury brand and I think Volvo has a good chance in the direction they are going with that…

  4. Sean McElroy Says:

    @WineGeek – I totally agree. I remember about 5 years ago when Volvo was just starting to turn things around. The then-head of North America said they had abandoned its history of safety and would be going back to its roots. Volvo has said that no one will be killed or seriously hurt in one of its vehicles by 2020, but I’ve never seen that played up in its marketing. As a member of the media we hear it all the time at each vehicle launch, but I doubt the average person walking into one of its showrooms even knows that’s a goal Volvo has laid out.

  5. Lambo2015 Says:

    @China “considering” banning Gas and Diesel sales and manufacturing by 2040. Meanwhile the US is “considering” all cars must fly by 2040. I mean really, 23 years from now lots could change and press releases like that are just propaganda for the EV industry. IMO

    @Volvo XC60 although it looks like a very nice vehicle remove all the badging and I doubt many people could distinguish it from 10 other SUV’s that size. Still not entirely sure what athletically sculpted design means. Reminds me of rich Corinthian leather. Marketing blabber.

  6. Ron Paris Says:

    It would be nice to see a V60 Volvo for those who don’t want a jacked up suspension!

  7. Ron Paris Says:

    “And since EVs have lower margins than combustion engine vehicles, Daimler expects to save nearly five billion dollars annually.”
    That makes absolutely no sense. How can you make more money (if that is what you mean) selling cars with lower margins?

  8. phred Says:

    When China “outlaws IC engines” what is going to be the source fuel of all that electricity that is now generated by coal? The country is now flooded with “unreliable EV” cars that breakdown regularly with also almost no range. Maybe the plan is to limit the individual mobility and push people into “public transportation”.

    And as to Volvo…tell me again why I need a Volvo car at a premium??

  9. Kate McLeod Says:

    Volvo had the safety thing in terms of an identifier with its brand almost to themselves. They abandoned it several years ago to position themselves as a luxury marque. I asked the head of Volvo at the time why they would walk away from one of the most important aspects of consumer demand. It was an Oh, we’re just emphasizing something else right now. OK, go ahead and see who moves into your space–everyone.

  10. BobD Says:

    On Mercedes, I can see offering “electrified” version of all of their cars, meaning plug-in hybrids or other hybrids, but how do you offer pure EV versions of all of your cars? That takes completely different platforms to design around the huge battery packs. I don’t see how you can offer both an EV and a traditional/hybrid powertrain version of the same car without having two completely different version of each model.

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    6 The V60 is nice, but its most direct competition, Golf Sportwagon, is roomier, and costs $14K less. Yeah, the Volvo has a somewhat nicer interior.

    To me, and I think others, Volvo is trying to sell mainstream cars at luxury car prices.

  12. Lambo2015 Says:

    @2 Barry I think you hit the nail on the head. I mean, once a manufacturer identifies a characteristic that will separate their brand from all the rest they exploit it. At least until everyone else has caught up and it is no longer an advantage. They can have best in class fuel economy, Best in class design, best in class safety. Finding a balance is the key now. Todays car commercials rarely even mention their crash test rating as they are all pretty good. For Volvo to be significantly better than their competition, they would sacrifice fuel economy to be marginally better. They most likely realized that their safety advantage is gone and are still searching for that new niche that consumers need to have.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Aren’t all cars electrified? They have electric lights, electric starters, electric A/C clutches, etc., and most have electric windows.

  14. Drew Says:

    There are many OEMs with respectable positions within the safety attribute (that is, I somewhatagree with #2 Barry T). But Volvo’s quest for luxury car pricing needs to be supported with something of more substance than “Swedish Design”. While it is hard to sustain premium pricing for passive safety (customers don’t plan to be in an accident), Volvo might find a more motivated customer with active safety as crash avoidance sensors also deliver other customer-valued functions (e.g., adaptive cruise control, semi-autonomous driving to relieve stress, etc.). As such, I simply don’t understand why Volvo hasnt become the 1st OEM to standardize ACC/AEB, lane departure prevention, blind spot/lane change assist, etc,).

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If anyone wants to advertise safety, it should be Genesis. A friend recently bought a zero option G80, low 40′s MSRP, and it has all of the latest safety gadgets standard. Volvos, including the rather pricey XC90, V90, and S90 do not have blind spot detection and rear cross traffic detection standard.

  16. FSTFWRD Says:

    @#13 Kit
    Good one. I agree.

  17. Albemarle Says:

    I think there’s a big difference between marketing position and reality. Sure almost all cars are very safe and differences between them are quite minor.
    But a car purchase is as much an emotional purchase as an intellectual one. If Volvo focussed on family safety, they could easily convince customers that if you care, you buy a Volvo. Subaru has been doing that quite successfully. So Volvo could position themselves as the upmarket solution for those who have outgrown a Subaru. Wouldn’t they like some of that Subaru business?

  18. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Safety sure seems to be working for Subaru; why Volvo wouldn’t at least keep safety in their equation doesn’t make sense. You can highlight other things (and still give mention to the safety factor that they certainly haven’t abandoned), just quit emphasizing.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17 , 18 Subarus are also very good values. My sister got a mid-trim level Forester about a year ago, and, as I remember, the MSRP was in the high 20′s, with leather (not vinyl), sun roof, blind spot and rear cross traffic alert. I don’t see her wanting to spend an extra $15-20K for an XC60 when/if the time comes to replace the Subaru.

  20. Drew Says:

    Subaru’s marketing certainly gets the attention of everyone with kids or a dog.

  21. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Volvo: make mine a P 1800.

  22. John Lockhart Says:

    In regard to the whole concept of banning gas and diesel automobiles; in the US we have approximately 253 million cars and trucks on the road. Our electric infrastructure is so dated that in many areas we EXPECT to lose power about half the time there is a thunderstorm or snowstorm. Where is the initiative to upgrade the infrastructure before we place the demands of charging, say, 65 million new electric vehicles in the next 10 years? Maybe I’m missing something here?

  23. Drew Says:

    @22 – John, I have been beating the same drum about the capacity and capability of our electricity infrastructure. Is there anyone else wanting to join our drum corps?

  24. Bobby T Says:

    22,23,The storm in Florida ought to make people think hard about relying on the grid to recharge batteries. Although many gas stations are closed now, I’ll bet that they will be up and running long before all of those 5-6 million without power will have their electric back on.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The U.S. can support a lot more plug-in cars, IF they are charged at off-peak hours. Yeah, if a tbird of the fleet is electric, tbere will be a problem, no matter when they are charged.

  26. Terry Says:

    “And since EVs have lower margins than combustion engine vehicles, Daimler expects to save nearly five billion dollars annually.”

    Can someone explain that statement? Lower margins (lower profits per unit) is bad. So how does Daimler expect to “save” with lower margins?

  27. BobD Says:

    26 While I agree the quote is extremely confusing, I’m wondering if what they really meant (lost in translation?) was that due to the upcoming lower margins on EVs, Daimler is planning on needing and planning for $5 billion annually in cost-reductions just to stay in business.

    Or perhaps their leadership just doesn’t understand business economics?!?