Will China kill volvo?

Discussion in 'Motorized Vehicles' started by MAA83, Feb 19, 2010.

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  1. MAA83

    MAA83 Notebook Evangelist

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    I've been a long time volvo owner (Volvo for Life, after all). It greatly saddens me to hear that Fomoco is selling Volvo to Geely.

    I understand a lot of things I buy are from China (mostly out of lack of options, pure inundation of chinese made products in the US); but for the most parts those are cheap, insignificant items I can easily replace (clothes, consumer electronics, etc). Things that matter to me, like tools, and high end electrionics, I try not to buy chinese due to lack of quality control. I would spend 3000 on a craftsman tool set as opposed to 1000 on a made in china cast instead of forged tool set. Even with laptops, they "value engineered" the ThinkPad and murdered the brand. Their motorcycles are jokes compared to Japanese and European bikes.

    With my car, I trust it with me and my family's lives. It's a much larger dollar investment than a laptop or an mp3 player, and it's a much more long term purchase as well. I have owned volvos for over a decade, and Volvo's US customer base is heavily brand loyal. If someone owns a Volvo, it's because they or their family have fallen in love with them; there aren't many 'first time buyers' compared to other car brands. Volvo isn't the first company that comes to mind when someone is looking to buy their first European car.

    Now that Volvo is going to be engineered and made in China, I don't think it will fare well in the US. Lots of the P2 platforms are made with Chinese parts, and there are already significantly more complaints than the P1 euro-made platforms; bad electricals, warped metals, etc. Sadly my C30 and my wifes XC90 will be our last Volvos (Both manufactured in Belgium). If it was Chinese owned then that's one thing, but Chinese engineered and manufactured, no way.

    Most Volvo forums are singing the same tune, and I was wondering what people's opinions on here are? Would you buy a Volvo that had made in china stamped on it?

    Looks like I'll have to switch to Saab/Spyker.
     
  2. talin

    talin Notebook Prophet

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    Interesting post to say the least. I've never owned a Volvo, but I had a friend who did, and he swore they were some of the safest cars on the road. About being manufactured in china, well, you're not the only one with those views, but with the world economy the way it is, many companies are moving their factories to chinese soil. Whether that "murders" a brand as you put it, or lowers quality, that's up to the consumer to decide. In the end it's to lower costs, and hopefully pass those savings on to the consumer.
    You made a good point however, that with your car you entrust your lives with it, and that couldn't be more true, so I'd probably side with you on that fact and be hesitant to purchase one made in china, I don't really know.
    Interesting post though. :)
     
  3. MAA83

    MAA83 Notebook Evangelist

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    I suppose murdering the brand is a bit harsh of a phrase. The ThinkPad line is still admirable, durable, and so on, but no one can deny that quality and engineering isn't on par with what it used to be when it was purely IBM. Ofcourse the benefit of this is the price has been made cheaper at that expense. I still love ThinkPads because I think they've managed to maintain most of it's reputation while making them more affordable, and I can overlook the faults like lower quality screens, occasional keyboard and body flex, and relatively less structural rigidity. Because after all that it's still a pretty good laptop. And I intend to buy an X201 lol.

    However, with a car it's different. I can't fix or easily replace the small things that break all the time. And, if something breaks, my life could depend on it.

    I'm sure the volvo's will still look nice, from the inside and out, and they might even keep the T5 turbo platform. But to me what separates a good luxury car from a bad one is the details. And the devil is in the details. And that's where I believe Geely will skimp on. Cheaper rubbers and plastics, cheaper electrical switches and wiring, cheaper gaskets and bushings, Cheaper metals in the rotors and frame, etc etc. I mean Volvo's are already cheap compared to their European peers. If they get any cheaper one has to question where that savings is coming from.
     
  4. talin

    talin Notebook Prophet

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    Well I know next to nothing about cars, I'm more of a computer guy (and can therefore relate on the X201, I'm actually considering it myself ;)). But I do understand your concerns, it would concern me as well. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens with Geely, and Volvo fans such as yourself hope they don't skimp on anything. Being a motorcycle rider I know how important safety is, especially when cruising down the freeway at 65+, believe me.
     
  5. K-TRON

    K-TRON Hi, I'm Jimmy Diesel ^_^

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    Volvo started to get too big which is there problem. They bought over Mack in the late 1990's. Mack, was a predominantly American Company. They made there own engines, and used all American parts. They would use rebranded Scania engines on occasion, but those were top notch engines. They sold out to Volvo, and now they do not use Cummins, Scania or Mack engines, they use Volvo MP8-MP9 engines. Yes they are quieter and more fuel efficient, but they are not made out to be the industrial engine which the Maxidyne was. I was sadly dissapointed when I toured the Mack Truck factory this summer. All of the Volvo boxes said made in China/Thailand. It was very different from the Mack factory I saw over 10 years ago.

    I do not follow much with volvo, other than there ownership of Mack.
    I am like you when it comes to tools. The difference between a $50 chinese torque wrench and a $600 Snap-ON/MAC is that it lasts more than 1 use. You can get many years of excellence with good tools. You can never do that with cheap imported parts.
    When it comes to engines, I had to go back and buy an engine which has every part stamped made in USA on it. There is not a single imported piece on my Detroit Diesel 6v53T, and thats what makes me happy. I know it will work and last because that was what it was designed to do. These engines were the backbone of the US from 1938 to the late 1980's when no other engine could keep up. With the truck it is going into, it will also be an all american made truck. I am trying to decide whether to stick with an old F550/F600-800 from the 70's or get a Chevy C65. There is no replacement for quality.

    Sadly in the vehicle market today there really arent any quality vehicles out there except for the ones which are restored from years past.

    K-TRON
     
  6. Trottel

    Trottel Notebook Virtuoso

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    K-TRON, Volvo cars and Volvo everything else are different entities which split up over ten years ago. Ford owned only Volvo cars, and Geely is only acquiring that.

    I just found this article by Reuters. It says that Volvo will remain just the way it is for those outside of China. It says that the cars Geely will make in China are only for the domestic market.

    For those who have never been to China, this is SO TRUE! Haha.
     
  7. MAA83

    MAA83 Notebook Evangelist

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    It's good to know that foreign assembled volvo's will still be available for sale. Why doesn't safety sell well in china? I figured safety would sell well anywhere...

    I ride as well talin. Not as much as before, but still like to. Sportster Iron.
     
  8. Trottel

    Trottel Notebook Virtuoso

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    Safety doesn't sell well in China because it is a different country and people there are different.
     
  9. MAA83

    MAA83 Notebook Evangelist

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    But what does ethnicity or nationality have to do with safety? Safety is a HUMAN thing to me, not a cultural thing. I figured everyone has a desire for self preservation in a car wreck. And it's not like volvo's are extreme safety fanatics at the cost of other things like sportiness and aesthetics; they just happen to have a reputation for safety innovation. It's a selling point, that's it. I just don't understand why safety would be overlooked as a selling point by anyone.
     
  10. Ayle

    Ayle Trailblazer

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    Chinese cars get low safety ratings when submitted to western tests, but it not like the car will fall apart if you touch it... While the need to feel safe is part of our survival instinct, the degree of safety you want is a CULTURAL thing. In some part of the world a car is considered safe if you can reasonably trust the front axle to no snap like a twig and send you careening down a ravine while here some people won't feel safe in their car unless they front, side and belt airbags, 4 wheel drive and a system that sense an impending accident and that prepares the car for impact a-la Mercedes presafe.
     
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