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Volvo Returns To Its Safety Roots to Boost Sales

August 26, 2002

Volvo, the only premium auto brand with falling sales this year, has a new chief executive who wants to return the company's marketing emphasisto safety, according to USA Today.Victor Doolan, who took over in June after running Ford Motor's Premium Automotive Group in North America, also will oversee the launch of Volvo's first sport utility vehicle.Purchased by Ford in 1999, Volvo was the only piece of the premium group — which includesJaguar, Land Rover and Aston Martin — that turned a profit last year. But for the past five years, Volvo has been drifting away from selling safety and instead has tried to push driving fun, speed and performance, not the hallmarks on which the Swedish carmaker has built its reputation."We have to be single-minded about our safety heritage and just talk about styling and performance as a value-added feature," Doolan, who ran BMW's U.S. unit in the mid-'90s, told USA Today.
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