Volvo’s Move Is Like Ford’s Model T Quote

Volvo logoIt’s a huge move. Volvo is mostly getting rid of the internal combustion engine by 2019. That lends itself to the question of just how will Volvo market its electric and hybrid cars?

This quote didn’t come with the Wednesday announcement, but the Henry Ford statement about the Model T feels almost appropriate: “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants, so long as it is black.”

Similar to Ford saying if he asked customers what they wanted, they’d have talked about having better horses, Volvo is moving ahead with changing its auto marketing forever.

Wednesday’s article in the Wall Street Journal hints at the upcoming messaging:

In the face of competition from upstarts like Tesla Inc., which begins production this week of its new mass-market Model 3 electric battery-powered family car, the Chinese-owned automotive group on Wednesday said all new Volvo models from 2019 would be either fully electric or a hybrid.

Volvo is the first major auto maker to abandon the technology that has powered the industry for more than a century. Hakan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars, said in a statement that the move “marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car,” reiterating his target of selling one million electric cars and hybrids by 2025. “When we said it, we meant it. This is how we are going to do it.”

Now the challenge for other auto marketers is how to differentiate the brands. From Mercedes to Cadillac, vehicle manufacturers are moving toward the current trends of car-sharing and electric/hybrid models.

What do you think, marketers?

Please respond in the comments section below.

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.
Publish date: July 6, 2017 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT