January 26, 2016
Volvo walked away from the North American International Auto Show with their heads rising higher than they were after CES. The Swedish Company walked right into the biggest Auto Show in North America and proceeded to steal the show. The timing could not be better for the foreign auto manufacturer; still reeling from internal restructuring issues. Ford sold Volvo to Chinese investors in 2010. Despite the fact that the American Automaker sold the Swedish one for a substantial loss (it was bought for $6.5 Billion in 1999, but sold for $1.8 Billion; 11 years later) it could not have been more welcomed by Ford. Who learned the hard way, that Auto Groups rarely ever work. Starting in 1987 with the purchase of the Aston Martin; the American icon started buying as many notable European auto brands as was possible. By the turn of the millennia, Ford had amassed Volvo, Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover, and Mercury while controlling a third of Mazda. Coincidentally, all of the aforementioned companies skimped into inadequacy until they were sold… or ceased to exist; as is the case for Mercury. All of the other auto companies achieved relative autonomy and are thriving (relatively). Jaguar/Land Rover and Volvo were sold to Auto Groups in emerging Markets. Land Rover and Jaguar were bought by Tata Motors in 2008. The India based Auto Group proceeded to give the companies: mountains of money and access to a superior internal infrastructure, while Ford continued to share key components, including powertrain technology: Tata then told the English companies to do what they did best. As a result, both British automakers are returning to former glory (prior to Ford). Though, Jaguar is doing exceedingly well in comparison. They are selling more than before; likely due to topping quality and reliability charts, not to mention stealing some aesthetic crown jewels from British Royalty. Ford sold Volvo to Geely Automotive Holdings in China two years after. Geely was immediately supplemented by the Swedish Company’s auto sales in Europe. In fact, Geely’s Li Shufu moved up to be the 53rd richest Chinese Automotive industry entrepreneur four years after his Swedish acquisition. While Volvo has a burgeoning presence in the new Auto capital of the world. And this is only just beginning of Volvo’s rise; 2016 marks their entrance into a position of dominance. At the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas; the Swedish Company tipped its hand to show the straight Autonomous Auto Flush which it is working with. Not only is the Company Introducing a Pilot Assist System that is comparable to Tesla’s Auto Pilot; but it also announced a tactical alliance with Sony Ericsson in regards to an in-auto streaming Video Service. At this point all automakers are turning onto the final straight before the Autonomous Auto finish line. Ford and Google have pole position, but Volvo, Tesla Motors, Mercedes-Benz, General Motors/Lyft and Uber are not far behind. Unfortunately, the Auto Autonomy of it all, is farther than would be comfortable, but the Volvo XC90 is currently rising above other company’s SUV rivals. If merit and appearance is not enough to sway buyers, the North American Truck or SUV of the year award will sure help.