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Volvo cuts safety features on India market

Geoff Mortimore · 12 Aug 2011, 11:24

Published: 12 Aug 2011 11:24 GMT+02:00

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"The strategy is a response to the growing demand in India for high end cars but at lower prices," Spokesman Stefan Elfström told The Local.

“Like many other luxury car makers we are reacting to consumer preferences in India, where they are very price sensitive. We have decided to offer smaller engines, the T5 for example, instead of a six cylinder engine, and made other modifications so we can be more competitive,” he added.

The car maker is planning to launch cheaper versions of its high end cars, including the popular XC60 och S60, but without certain safety equipment that is, according to Volvo requested less often by buyers in the Indian market.

Features such as lane departure warning and pedestrian detection technology, which automatically slows the car down when it detects pedestrians nearby, are to be jettisoned to make the cars more price-competitive, which will help increase sales.

"With the introduction of lower specification cars, we are looking to increase our market share threefold,” said Elfström.

In India, Volvo sold 150 cars last year.

“We hope to be reaching four figures this year,” said Elfström.

Story continues below…

The company will not forgo the fully equipped versions of the cars altogether though.

"We will still offer a version with everything included, but this is the same strategy as our competitors in India like Audi and BMW,” he concludes.

Geoff Mortimore (mortimore.geoff@gmail.com)

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Your comments about this article

17:53 August 12, 2011 by kshatriya
first axe would fall on the airbag, ABS would become optional.
23:00 August 12, 2011 by local-aam
Congratulations! as Volvo people are rightly using their brains. In India, you mostly need to think about cars with lower price with low maintenance cost. Safety and other cool stuffs are mostly waste in there at least for the vast majority.
06:22 August 13, 2011 by porksteak
It's India. Half the family is riding on the roof.

They don't give a flip.
11:21 August 13, 2011 by johan rebel
Very sensible marketing policy. Offer what customers want and can afford. Indians' priority is to acquire the mobility that security blanket hugging Swedes take for granted, and will not give safety much thought, if at all.
12:02 August 13, 2011 by aveminus
In India imported cars attract 110% tax so they end up paying more than twice the cost of the actual car :)

Expensive cars are more of a status symbol. I guess most people would prefer to buy a low end Audi or a BMW than a high end Volvo :) Nothing personal against Volvo :) But then I guess they have not done enough advertising for their brand awareness :)
13:05 August 17, 2011 by vipspark
Funny.. I've been to India.. and there are variety of people. First of all cut the crap like.. there people riding on roof :) Believe me person riding on roof will not buy any car (forget about safety).. even here people who can't afford food are not riding Ferrari..but people who can afford it will never opt for Volvo (no hard feeling for Volvo again but it doen't have name). I WISH it would be good for Volvo to launch this segment car.. but I JUST wish because personally i dont feel that it's good marketing decision.
15:40 August 17, 2011 by Eagle63
Saab would never compromise on safety...
00:24 August 18, 2011 by Smallnose
They believe in karma, what's the use of safety belts then.

btw: 150 cars minus 10 cars for the Swedish embassy and consulate staff, 80 Swedish expats, 10 Danish expats, 10 Finnish expats, 10 Norwegian expats, 10 US expats, 10 UK expats, 5 Benelux expats, 5 Russian expats, are there any locals buying? Even Ferrari has bigger market share with locals.
00:41 August 27, 2011 by james7
Leave it to the Chinese to screw up a good car. In the future, when you buy a Volvo you will only get a steering wheel and four tires. Everything else will be extra.
22:40 September 5, 2011 by dcarlson12
India has more than a billion people. Killing off a few more in unsafe cars will just help the planet. Don't really mean that but if you see how they drive there, safety features would be a good idea. I don't see why you would want the optional pedestrian sensing feature to slow you down. You would never get up to normal speed given how many people there are....
12:59 September 22, 2011 by sjuttiosjusköterskorpåsjukhuset
With the way persons from India who are all too often treated in Sweden, why on EARTH should their counterparts and relatives in India even CONSIDER buying a Volvo or Saab????????????? Besides that, Volvos and Saabs are overrrated and expensive JUNK.
22:26 November 6, 2011 by dibble
Sorry cannot agree with you there. All of my Volvos have done as they said they would including my 1966 Amazon. Biggest problem I ever had was with a BMW.
12:03 November 22, 2011 by aravindnagastya
People are least bothered about Volvo in India, Since there are many major car companies like toyota honda maruti-suzuki and hyundai are there ... whatever, either volvo people reduce costs or they give cars for free ... Volvo is just a choice for Indians ... Poor Volvo )))
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