DETROIT -- Volvo, traditionally known for its strong safety record, also wants to emphasize design features and fuel efficiency in its marketing.
We want to do this in a more engaging way than we have done in the past, said Stephen Odell, CEO of the Swedish brand.
In an interview at the auto show here, Odell said uncertainty over Volvos future is clearly a distraction. But he added that my main and only role is to develop a plan to get Volvo back to sustainable profitability.
Volvo parent Ford Motor has said it is reviewing all options for the loss-making Swedish premium brand. That includes a possible sale.
Odell and Ford Chief Financial Officer Lewis Booth met in Detroit with a Swedish government delegation Monday, but they declined to comment on whether and how Ford and the authorities could cooperate on a revival of Volvo.
Volvos global unit sales dropped to 374,296 last year from 448,000 in 2007. The company has an installed capacity at its plants of 600,000 cars, which had long been its production goal. But, of course in the current market, that is not on the radar screen, Odell said.
Odell, who took over as Volvo CEO last year, expressed optimism about the companys future because of the strong value of the Swedish brand. Ive been very pleasantly surprised that theres zero negative equity in the Volvo brand, he said. Weve got to build on that with the right products and the right communication.
E-mail Arjen Bongard at [email protected]