Volvo design and headlight wipers
It has been more than a year since Volvo obtained a new design director who was a person from the past. Today, I was walking past one of those European auto repair shops where there are usually a few cars on the lot for sale adjacent the repair queue. I suspect that the cars for sale there are a) ones whose owners couldn’t afford the repair bill and therefore they have been repossessed by the repair shop, b) owned by customers of the repair shop and are for sale there because the repair shop owners knows they are good for his business (nudge, nudge, if you know what I mean), c) they are nifty cars that the repair shop owner really likes and for which he wants to find a good home.
Anyway, I saw this red Volvo station wagon that came out when putting wiper blades on headlights was thought to be extraordinary in functionality and safety. (What a gimick.) Most of the time you see wiper blades on headlights they are broken and look funny, kind of like that other feature on cars of that era that closed their eyelids when lights were not on. Having their eyes closed was a streamlining technique and made some subtle sense, but wiper blades on headlights, oh no.
So, what is going on at Volvo? I thought they were one of the best things going for Ford as they are great cars. They are not like the doggy Jaguar that not even Ford Quality #1 could fix.
Want to see deluxe headlight wipers in action?
“Interview with Volvo's design boss Peter Horbury
Volvo’s new design boss is also its old design boss.
By Andrew English 9:45AM GMT 29 Oct 2009
Briton Peter Horbury was Volvo’s design director in the Nineties before it was purchased by Ford and staff were moved all around the world.
Horbury ended up as design director of Ford in America, pulling together the disparate brands and designs under the blue oval into a coherent whole. So what persuaded him to take his old job back?
“I didn’t really think about it,” he said. “If I had, I might have said 'No'.”
Horbury is referring to the fact that the ‘For Sale' signs have been up around loss-making Volvo for nine months, with several buyers rumoured to be interested in the 82-year-old car maker with its impeccable reputation for safety and the environment first.
“It’s certainly an adventure,” he said, “like one of those mystery tours my grandmother used to make. In the end you’ve got to trust that the brand is too important to allow someone to damage it.””
Current status as far as I know
China's Geely now owns Swedish carmaker Volvo
By Joe Mcdonald, AP Business Writer
BEIJING — Geely Holding Group completed its acquisition of Ford Motor Co.'s Volvo unit Monday in a $1.5 billion deal that gives the small but ambitious Chinese automaker a global brand and huge management challenges.
Industry analysts say 13-year-old Geely, barely known abroad, will face a struggle in integrating the two corporate cultures and turning around Volvo Cars, a perennial money-loser in a country with strong labor unions.
Geely agreed in March to buy Volvo from Ford (F), which sold its European brands to raise cash and focus on its core Ford and Lincoln units. Geely said it paid $1.3 billion in cash plus a $200 million note — less than the $1.8 billion price announced in March due to changes in pension obligations and working capital.”