Volvo Cars Australia is considering offering a less expensive V90 variant as a response to the slow showroom performance of the V90 Cross Country wagon and its S90 sedan stablemate.
The V90 Cross Country is now well into its second year on sale, available in just one grade, the D5 Inscription all-wheel drive which costs $101,400 before on-road costs.
Meanwhile, the S90 large sedan was launched in 2016 in four variants ranging from $70,000 to $98,900, with two plug-in hybrid models joining the line-up later, ranging from $119,900 to $121,900.
Volvo's Australian arm has considered introducing a standard front-wheel drive V90 variant for some time, but the relatively low sales of the Cross Country and the S90 may now give it a reason.
According to Volvo Cars Australia managing director Nick Connor, the firm is disappointed in the S90's sales performance.
“Honestly, I’m disappointed with S90,” he said. “I’m disappointed because I personally think it’s a very attractive car. It’s a beautiful car actually, it stands out in its segment, and I think we’re not getting the sales that we deserve in this market for S90.
“But, you have to acknowledge that that’s an incredibly competitive segment. I mean, ludicrously competitive segment, and there are some of the best cars in the world up against it. And I think our product stands comparison, but we don’t have a reputation as a large saloon brand.”
Mr Connor also said that the brand may cut some of its S90 sedan variants, while adding a regular front-drive V90 wagon to sit below the Cross Country.
“I think where the opportunity is not huge, and where we’re not selling hundreds or thousands of cars a year, I think it makes sense for us to strip it right back.
“And we (currently) only offer the V90 Cross Country, we don’t offer any other variants there.
“Which, maybe that went too far the other way. We stripped it back too much, because we’ve got... at the very top-end a variant of the V90 offer.
“For V90, I think the opportunity is to have V90 Cross Country, which does pretty well for us, and maybe have a lower price point – a standard V90 without all-wheel drive – for those people who want a large estate car.”
While sales for the V90 Cross Country are up 38.9 per cent compared to the first 10 months of 2017, that still only translates to 50 units moved.
The S90 is doing slightly better, with 91 units sold this year, which is a 127.5 per cent increase over 2017.
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