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Volvo EX30 “not for everybody”

EX30 may be small and affordable but Volvo says buyers may end up in a different model

9 May 2024

IT MAY be the most affordable, most sustainable and quickest Volvo electric car yet, but the brand admits its new EX30 is not going to be the right car for all customers. 

Volvo Car Australia managing director Stephen Connor openly conceded that he expects some customers will find the EX30 to be too compact for their needs, and he suggested at the model’s local launch that the upsell opportunities are considerable if buyers are not quite sold on the most compact model in the range. 
“We're not going to be a 'one car' company. The important thing is (customers) will come in, and it won't be for everybody,” Mr Connor said. 
“Then all of a sudden, if you've got a family you're going to be looking to XC60, you're going to be looking at XC90, and maybe the EX90,” he said. 
According to Mr Connor, however, it is divisiveness that will help the EX30 succeed in a fiercely competitive marketplace. 
“Most of it is conquest business, most of it is from new brands,” he said of the current trade-in trend on the EX30. 
“All of our current sales are genuinely conquest business, which is great, which is exactly what we want.  
“That's the whole principle behind having a fun car like this, that pulls people into the brand, and all of a sudden now the brand is much more accessible across the range, and it's great,” he said. 
“For us it really sets us apart from our competitors,” added Mr Connor, pointing to the fact that no other European luxury brand has a battery electric vehicle (BEV) at this price point – the EX30 starts from $59,990 before on-road costs.  
The closest rival ex-Europe is the Cupra Born, which is currently priced identically, as was the Peugeot E-2008 until a recent dramatic price cut.  
For buyers seeking one of the luxury badges on their driveway, the most affordable BMW BEV, the base model iX1, is $78,900 + ORC, while Audi’s most affordable BEV – the Q4 E-Tron starting from $88,300 + ORC – is still months away. 
Between the two, the most budget-friendly Mercedes-Benz BEV is the EQA250, from $84,900 + ORC. 
None of this takes into consideration that there is an even more affordable take on the EX30 that is not available on the Australian market. 
In other zones around the world, a 49kWh entry-level rear-wheel drive version of the EX30 is offered, with less driving range but a far more attainable price. 
Sadly for budget-conscious Australian consumers, however, it will not be sold here – initially, at least. 
“We can take that car if we want to, right? But you've got to kind of go, well, what's the benefit of the car? Is it going to cannibalise the other range?” Mr Connor posited. 
“The price point will obviously be a lot cheaper than what we've got and … it starts getting very complex.  
“One thing we've learned here over the last five or seven years since I've been with the company, we've reduced the complexity of our offering,” he said. 
“We've got one of the guys who came from another brand to work for us, and they had 50 different cars just at their launch. So then you have the complexity with our customers, then you have the complexity with our dealers ... You have to really question why.” 
Mr Connor suggested the current, simple three-variant line-up should meet the needs of the market as he sees it. 
“If there's a good business reason with customer demand, then we will look at it but at the moment, I'm not inclined to increase our product offering,” he said.  
“And we kind of feel like we've hit the nice sweet spot with both those cars, one with a performance level and one with a better range. So 'no' is the answer today. But you know, who knows, but I don't want to add more complexity to a range -- we don't need it. We need less complexity in our lives don't we?” 
The EX30 is on sale now, and the brand says it has already sold out of its first tranche of 1500 MY24 models, and is already dipping into its MY25 order bank. Mr Connor said the business has secured a run of 3900 examples of the EX30 from China, and is currently running at a “40 per week” order write. 

The business will be banking on the success of this new model, with its first four months of 2024 signalling a significant sales downturn. To the end of April, the brand had shifted 2617 units, down from 3781 for the same period in 2023.

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