The SWOT Analysis of Volvo Marketing Plan

Volvo Cars have a reputation of being safe.  The current marketing strategy builds on this as shown in the Volvo SUV wherein a young girl is buckled down in a car seat at the back by her dad and followed by the banner question of “Who would you give a Volvo to?” appeals to all families irregardless of income brackets.[1] The company’s motto : “Volvo for life” has been accepted by the car buying public because of the proven quality and reliability of Volvo cars over the years;[1]   Longevity.  Volvo owners have time and again boasted of having several “million dollar clubs” [4] and [5].  This million dollar clubs refer to cars with engines that have run up to a million miles with minor problems.

Weaknesses:

Volvo’s affiliation with the Ford Company.  The recent partnership of Volvo with Ford hurt the Volvo’s reputation as a solid vehicle of choice.  Consumers are aware of Ford’s recent troubles and there were a lot of market recalls of Ford vehicles, the most recent of which was the starter relay of pick-up trucks which caused some trucks to start a fire.[1] and [3].
Volvo owners have given a nickname for their cars (Brick) referring both to the solid construction to the car, and also to the styling of the car.  For many years the styling was very boxy – this goes against the market trend of having sleek and “smoother”, and compact styling.  Two websites dedicated to Volvo owners which indicated these comments are: http://brickboard.com/, and http://www.swedishbricks.net/.
With each brand of car always comes a line of “lemons”.  With Volvo, there were serious electrical problems with the 2000 series of cars.[3] and [4].  These complaints from owners of 2000+ Volvo series can be found at various websites from Yahoo to MSN.
Volvo may appeal to all car buyers from all market brackets of A to D but the cost of acquiring one can only be afforded by the AB bracket.[1]

Opportunities:

Volvo’s marketing plan is always hinged on its reputation as a good car maker.  Despite the glitches in the early 2000 series, Volvo has kept its loyal client base in the AB market.
Volvo developed a line of “luxurious economy cars” in the S-40 series.  It has up to 28 mpg. And is considered affordable at a little over $20,000+ for 2005 and 2006 series and can also be acquired used with less than 100,000 miles driven at $9,000+.  This is Volvo’s response to the growing public clamor for economy cars because of continued rise in gas prices.

Threats:

Prices of gas continue to make the public switch from luxury and sport vehicles to more economic cars that fetch good gas mileage.  All other car manufacturers have come up with their “economy cars”, Toyota came up with Prius, Dodge came up with Neon, Ford with Focus, Honda and Hyundai have its hybrids. It is difficult for Volvo to go with the crowd because it also has to protect its market niche of clients that want quality cars.

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