Volvo’s curse of the 240 – May. 14, 2012

29 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Volvo’s curse of the 240 – May. 14, 2012

The curse of the Volvo 240

Things haven’t been the same you left.

FORTUNE — It huge news recently Volvo Cars signed an deal with Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin to cash in on the market for upscale cars in

Coincidence? I don’t think so. accident is just one of several suffered by Volvo since it was by China’s Geely in 2010 and a continuation of the disappointments it has endured its most popular and long-lived went out of production 20 years

I call it the Curse of the Volvo 240. The homely car was an enormous success, but has spent years trying to it.

Introduced in 1973, the 240 was the ur-Volvo, the front grille of a Peterbilt and the compartment of a Mayflower van that enormous amounts of cargo. front and rear crumple headed its list of innovative features.

The 240 came in several model but station wagons accounted for a of its sales. Its funky functionality it amazingly popular. More 2.8 million 240s and related were sold during its run.

People developed to the 240 back in the day — and they do today.

When you hear Volvos last nearly 20 the reference is probably to the 240. keep them forever and up astounding amounts of miles, their homely virtues and their obvious drawbacks, a pokey four-cylinder engine.

a 240 has become an anti-status symbol, a sign of inconspicuous consumption. Web overflow with testimonials ecstatic owners, as this from Edmunds.com indicates:

My 240 Wagon has 330,000 miles on it and has a great car. No plans of with a newer one.

[I] have a 1982 Volvo wagon with 298,968 on it. The car runs great when I can get it

I live in NYC (Manhattan) where the is a favorite mode of transportation. 13 yrs ago, I bought a 1993 240 sedan. I hardly ever use my car BUT I to give it up. It’s a work of

I love the boxy lines and I’ll never sell car. It’s a welcome to my family.

Just purchased an 86 DL 240 214000 mileage on her now. to be tiptop but it doesn’t like below half tank gas.

I’m looking to buy a 240 wagon. I’m willing to pay top for a car in good condition. If I plan to the car for 10 years or more what of mileage is recommended?

The 240 was replaced in by the 850 and eventually discontinued. As with the Volvo made the boxy its core 850 model, and the sedan was like a wagon with the end cut off. During its five-year run, Volvo produced 1.4 850s, but the car never achieved the status of the 240.

The 850 and succeeding models marked the of a two-decade long effort by to move away from its for longevity and safety and elevate its into a full-fledged luxury With Volvo’s small and a production base in high-cost the move was dictated by economics and really succeeded. The cars approach the level and features of European competitors.

At the end of the 1990s, still profitable, was sold. having already purchased and Land Rover decided to add it to its Automotive Group. Hoping to the company by spreading Volvo’s costs over its vast of scale, Ford paid billion in 1999.

Ford ( F. Fortune 500 ) pushed further up-market. The effort Volvo’s first crossover, the a late but successful addition to the line, and the S80, an undistinguished to luxury sedan status.

also tried to adapt engineering to its own cars like the 500 but found the results expensive and

The global financial crisis at the end of the produced big losses at Volvo, no longer fit CEO Alan Mulally’s One strategy. With deep-pocketed in short supply, Ford Volvo in 2010 to Zhejiang Holding Group, the parent of manufacturer Geely Automotive, for billion — less one-third of the price it had paid a earlier.

Geely immediately VW’s hard-charging executive Jacoby and instructed him to turn into a BMW competitor. Jacoby plans for a big investment in new models and to double worldwide sales to by 2020.

Since then, Volvo has run nothing but more bad luck. The government ruled that is still a foreign company it is still incorporated in Sweden. means Volvo is shut out of the $15 market for government cars.

Volvo discovered that it build cars in China on its own a necessity to avoid stiff duties. Instead it would to form a joint venture Geely to operate the plant, create a separate Chinese for the partnership to build and sell.

there are reports that will position the brand at a price point and supply it older technology, it is essentially up a company to compete with To add to its pain, top designer Peter left Volvo and moved to the partnership, where he will put his mark on the new brand.

Whether Volvo can ever off its jinx is in question. In the U.S. its biggest market, it sold 67,240 cars last — half its total in

So far this year, it is running below that rate, it behind traditional laggards Mitsubishi. Meanwhile, BMW enjoys times the volume.

At the Geneva show in March, Volvo its first model designed its new owner. Named the V40, it is a hatchback with the world’s pedestrian air bag that ejects the hood. Neither the hatchback nor the airbag is likely to appeal to buyers.

As for the 240, it seems to only grow in reputation and Volvo has withdrawn its wagon the U.S. market and now sells crossovers.

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