Make / Model Search

Future models - Volvo - V90 - Cross Country

Standard Volvo V90 wagon on the cards

Grand designs: Volvo offers seven versions of the S90 sedan in Australia but the D5 R-Design makes up 80 per cent of sales.

Volvo to reshuffle S90 sedan and V90 wagon line-up after slow sales

8 Nov 2018

DISAPPOINTING sales have prompted Volvo Car Australia to consider trimming its S90 large sedan line-up and introducing a more affordable entry-level standard V90 wagon in a bid to appeal to more buyers.
The S90 large sedan was launched in Australia in late-2016 in T5 and T6 petrol and D4 and D5 diesel guises, ranging in price from $79,900 to $98,900 excluding on-road costs. 
The flagship T8 plug-in hybrid was added later, topping the range at $119,900 for the Inscription and $121,900 for the R-Design.
Volvo launched the high-riding V90 Cross Country wagon in early 2017 in a single highly specified model grade, the D5 Inscription all-wheel-drive, priced at $101,400.
Volvo elected not to offer the standard V90 wagon in Australia, instead focusing on the V90 Cross Country that is a direct competitor for the Audi A6 Allroad and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain.
Speaking exclusively to GoAuto, Volvo Car Australia managing director Nick Connor said he was disappointed with S90 sales and believed the model could be performing better in its segment.
“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 said the S90 had attracted some loyal buyers who previously owned the S80 sedan, but acknowledged the competitiveness of the segment had held the model back.
“We’ve made them for years, and we’ve never sold them in huge numbers,” he said. “People who buy the car love it. In fact, we have repeat purchase of S80 come back to S90 and we get really strong customer feedback on it but we have to be realistic.
“It’s very hard to prise people out of Mercedes E-Class and BMW 5 Series, however good your product is.”
Mr Connor said Volvo was considering trimming some variants from the S90 line-up and introducing a front-wheel-drive version of the regular V90 wagon, to sit under the existing V90 Cross Country model grade.
“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.
“But, I think with S90, we sell it mostly in D5 R-Design. Probably 80 per cent of the volume is one engine, one trim level. So, I think that gives us a little bit of feedback that we need to pay attention to. So, yes, I think we can definitely strip that back.
“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.”
Last year, Volvo shifted just 73 S90 sedans, making it one of the slowest sellers in the premium large sedan segment and well off the pace of the big guns, including the segment-leading Mercedes-Benz E-Class (1896) and the BMW 5 Series (1245).
The S90 is already faring better in 2018, with 91 units sold to the end of October, representing a 127.5 per cent increase, and ensuring it leads the Audi A7 (98).
So far this year Volvo has sold 50 V90 Cross Countrys, a 38.9 per cent increase on the first 10 months of 2017.
Mr Connor said he believed the V90 Cross Country could also be doing better in the sales race.
“I think V90, I think it’s more natural for the brand, it’s a good, premium estate car. It’s got great functionality. It looks good. It does what I would expect it to do, given the opportunity. 
“So I think with V90, could we do more? Yes, I think we could. S90, I think it’s a bit tougher because however good the car is, people are so brand-loyal, and in that segment of the market, it’s just very difficult to get them to consider us.”

Read more

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

Volvo models

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here