You can find the road's Swede spot with a little help from Volvo Cars of North America (VCNA). The company is a subsidiary of Sweden's Volvo Car Corporation, itself a subsidiary of China-based carmaker Geely Automobile and parent Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. VCNA serves as the marketing, sales, parts, service, and technology and training arm of the 60-year brand for auto dealers in the US, as well as leads Volvo automotive operations Canada. The company's models include the S-Range (sedans), the V-Range (station wagons), the C-Range (coupes and convertibles), and XC-Range (SUVs/crossovers). VCNA has about 300 dealerships in North America. The company also offers financing through Volvo Finance.
VCNA's fortunes in 2010 continue to be hurt by year-over-year sliding sales in the US, largely driven by the weak economic recovery coupled with fierce competition for passenger car consumers. In Canada, Volvo car sales are retaining and even gaining momentum. VCNA is pursuing a number of measures; among them, a revamp of its image. Volvo Car was first to make cars fitted with three-point safety belts; even before the 1959 rollout, safety has been fundamental to its brand identity. VCNA, however, anticipates its launch of the 2011 S60, a midsize sports sedan styled as naughty, to take the brand to the next level and turnaround sales. Targeting the under-40-year-old driver looking for a reliable but edgy model, the company is offering, for a limited time, goods, such as a virtual sedan, Volvo tire, steering wheel, or its logo, on the iPhone app, MyTown (created by Booyah).
VCNA is also hitching its future to new ownership. After more than a year of negotiations, Ford Motor completed its sale of Volvo Car Corporation to Geely in mid-2010. The $1.8 billion deal preserved Volvo Car's headquarters and manufacturing operations in Sweden and Belgium. Leadership, however, shifted. Stefan Jacoby, former CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, took the wheel as president and CEO of Volvo Cars; outgoing CEO Stephen Odell returned to Ford's European operations. Although Ford retained no ownership in Volvo, the two are maintaining a component and supply relationship which allows access to tooling and engineering support for a period of time.
Ford Motor purchased the Volvo automotive brand from Swedish truck maker AB Volvo in 1999. A decade later, jettisoning its overseas brands to return to profitability, Ford put Volvo on the auction block.
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