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Should I buy a Volvo?
January 25, 2010 9:41 AM   Subscribe

Last year I almost bought a new Volvo c30. I drove one and liked it, but then work got busy and I put the whole thing off until the spring. However, in December Ford announced that they would be selling Volvo to Geely. Geely has apparently has only been manufacturing cars since 1989. This makes me hesitant, even though the BBC report on the sale states: Industry observers say the sale is good news for Volvo. Am I over thinking this, or is the ownership of a car company irrelevant?
posted by R. Mutt to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total)
 
The C30 was designed and built while still under Ford so I wouldn't worry about, the real question is what direction Geely takes future models.
posted by zeoslap at 10:07 AM on January 25, 2010


Most car companies are owned by people who couldn't care less about making cars, so I don't see how this should matter.
posted by daniel_charms at 10:20 AM on January 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hot discussion about this over at the SwedeSpeed forums:

Poll and comments re. sale of Volvo to Geely; and,
Open Letter to Ford CEO Alan Mulally

My guess is that the other Volvo owner sites (SwedishBricks, BrickBoard, etc...) are probably having the same discussion and the same general opinions being voiced.

I've got a 2007 XC70 that I bought through the Volvo Overseas Delivery Program. I love that car and the ability to pick it up at the factory, get a factory tour, have lunch with a couple of Swedish Volvo execs and talk with them about design, marketing, etc.., drive it around on vacation in Europe (we hit Norway and Sweden in November) and then have it shipped to me, reconfirmed me as a lifelong Volvo customer.

I can't tell you how many Volvos my family has owned over years - more than 12 for sure. But I can tell you that my next purchase won't simply be a matter of calling up my Volvo sales guy and telling him to get me one if they're being built in China. I'll be taking a look at everything else on the market again.
posted by webhund at 10:20 AM on January 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why should a twenty-year history in car manufacturing be more worrying than a fifty- or a hundred-year history? A company is the sum total of the people who work for it. Given how career mobility has changed over the years, you're surely as likely to have as much of a mix of levels of experience in a newer manufacturer as you would in an old one. Experienced designers and engineers will go wherever the conditions suit them, and the history of the manufacturer isn't likely to be high up on the list of requirements. It could equally be argued that a younger company is less likely to be held back by old ideas, although I suspect the days of company board being filled with crotchety old industry veterans are pretty much over.

You'll have the new car how long? A few years? You're definitely overthinking it. Buy one anytime soon and it's still the same Volvo car it would have been under the old ownership. It's not like they'll suddenly ship in containers of plastic engines from China.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 10:23 AM on January 25, 2010


For a car built recently, it probably makes little difference.
The supply chain and assembly are likely to be little different.
As far as service, most largish towns(large enough to have a Volvo dealer) have at least one independent garage that focuses on Swedes, so even if the whole thing goes belly up, you're probably still covered for maintenance.

In the future though, the ownership could be hugely important.
After all, GM turned SAAB into yet another rebadging outfit, who is to say what Geely will do?
It could be rebadging their little cars for the illusion of safety, or it could genuine innovation.
posted by madajb at 10:37 AM on January 25, 2010


Ignoring for a second that Volvo hasn't made a proper Volvo since the 940 and that the horror stories about their reliability over the last 10 years could fill a million books....

Keep in mind that _if_ the company takes a dive in their perceived quality, you could get stuck with a used car that isn't worth quite what you'd hoped. In all other respects, it's going to be the same car it was last year.
posted by paanta at 11:25 AM on January 25, 2010


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