Blog: Dave LeggettVolvos made by Ford

Dave Leggett | 22 September 2003

Ford does have to be a little bit careful I think. Volvo cars are not simply commodity products that can be made anywhere. The Volvo buyer expects to be getting a Volvo product with Volvo values - not a rebadged Ford. The trick in platform sharing is to leave the buyer still feeling that, for example, his Jaguar X-type is a Jaguar where it counts - touchy, feely things, sporty performance, switchgear and trim and things like aftersales service. If someone tells Mr X-type that the platform and subframes are shared with Mondeo, he'll shrug and say 'so what?'. But if the Jag was made in the same plant as the Ford, he may feel he's on weak ground. I would say that a significant part of the Volvo brand values is its perceived Swedishness. Many buyers of the small Volvos made in the Netherlands for many years were unaware that they weren't built in Sweden and I don't suppose Volvo was keen to disabuse them of their misconceptions. Too much platform sharing erodes brand premiums in the long run. Making Volvos in a Ford plant is a dangerous game, whatever the pressures on cost may be.


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