Volvo has, for the longest time, watched in envy of its Germans rivals in their pursuit of global market share dominance. That all began changing in 2010 when Ford sold the Swedish company in full to Chinese carmaker, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group.
Volvo Cars was recently awarded the “One to Watch” award by Fleet World Honours, an honourific title that’s typically awarded to manufacturers who are ‘on the verge of great things’. This really comes as no surprise seeing Volvo’s rapid development in the field of autonomous drive, connectivity, safety and electrification technologies.
Modern Volvo cars aren’t just state-of-the-art tech bombs, in fact they are arguably one of the best looking cars of the decade. In 2016, Volvo recorded their third consecutive sales high with a global volume of 534,332 cars, and the numbers will only climb.
Let’s backtrack to 1999, the year when Ford bought 100 percent of Volvo for $6 billion. The US manufacturing giant also acquired many other luxury brands like Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover in a diversification bid. Long story short, things didn’t turn out too well and acquisitions turned into abnegations. Volvo however, was the last to be sold, and they did so at a terribly steep loss of $1.5 billion.
Volvo now thrives on much greener pastures after Geely allocated $11 billion in cash. The untold truth is that Volvo had all the freedom to do as they please without much interference from their new owners. The rest? Well, let’s just say Volvo is on the right track. They still produce world-class cars, not just in terms of safety and powertrain technology, but now in design as well. Who doesn’t love a thoroughly beautiful and purposeful car?
For those who have no clue about Volvo’s presence in Malaysia, allow me the privilege to tell you that they’ve been manufacturing and assembling cars in Shah Alam, Selangor since 1967. The production plant, although old, is routinely upgraded to facilitate the assemblies of newer cars, particularly the XC90 T8 Inscription and soon, the S90 and V90.
Exciting things are coming our way, and it’s from the company we, five years ago, least expected. Time to revisit that annual priority assessment, eh?