July 8, 2010

No Playtime For US: New Volvo V60 Sports Wagon

volvo_v60_playtime.jpg

Volvo announced the sweet-looking new V60 wagon this week--on Monday--and basically told the US market we're not getting it, and it's our own damn fault.

Cars.com's Dave Thomas reports:

While America slept in Monday, Volvo unveiled its new V60 sports wagon overseas. The company says 90% of buyers will be from Europe and the other 10% obviously from points outside the U.S.

Volvo spokesman James Hope pointed out that the V70 wagon sold more than 10,000 units in 2004. By 2009 the company sold less than 1,800.

Ah, yes, station wagon plummeted between 2004 and 2009. I wonder, did anything else happen during those years when America obviously fell out of love with station wagons? Here are the sales numbers for the V70, plus its sportier AWD variant, the XC70; plus the XC90 SUV:

volvo_v70_sales_data.jpg

Look at that, Volvo's total North American sales are down by almost 60% over that same time frame. And the V70 upscaling redesign and model rejiggering which was conceived in a boom, and which emphasized the XC70 over the more vanilla V70--and the XC90 over both of them--debuted in 2007 and promptly got sideswiped by the Great Recession.

They can cherrypick a few scary numbers if they want, but until a couple of years ago, Volvo was the station wagon standard bearer in the US. They're free to dump decades of wagon equity and expertise if they want, but they can't blame the US for the death of the wagon, not when they've got blood all over their reindeer sweaters and a crossover-shaped knife in their hand.

2011 Volvo V60: Another Wagon Not For America [blogs.cars.com]

7 Comments

there will be blood. ;-)

great post, btw.

My brothers, a savior is coming.

Soon, the era of the CTS-V Sportwagon will be upon us. Let each of us search within ourselves for the means and justification to spend $63,000 on a 552hp wagon. The toll will be great, but the reward greater.

Now if only that 552hp wagon had a third row jump seat....

We've got an XC70 and love it in all ways but one - it is *thirsty*! My Euro-husband complains at least weekly about not being able to get a TDI engine here.

Melanie, the fuel economy on the current XC70 is atrocious. There are many crossover SUV's offering more space and more seating with similar mileage Given Volvo's target demographic, I'm surprised they've been this blind to fuel efficiency.

Station wagons are so popular here in Germany and they are not seen as un-cool at all. When we moved here 6 years ago we got a diesel passat combi (station wagon). I was hesitant but my german husband promised me it would be ok!

@Seth and @Laura: It is. We had just moved back to Canada from Germany when we bought it, and had been driving a VW TDI while living there. Shocking difference. We'd had a Passat Combi TDI while living in Germany, and I'm pretty sure that, if that engine had been available here, I wouldn't have been able to convince my German husband to even consider anything else. On our latest visit, in May, we'd booked another, but were given a Merc SUV TDI. Even it had better fuel efficiency than our otherwise-beloved Volvo. So that's another one we'll consider when we replace the XC70, if the TDI engine is available here. But we do love the cargo capacity of station wagons!

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