Don't cheap out. But do avoid sticker shock.
That's the advice from an Automotive News online survey asking how Volvo should equip its upcoming C30 small hatchback.
In short, potential C30 customers want power at a fair price.
As of Wednesday, Feb. 1, readers submitted 2,270 responses.
The Jan. 30 issue of Automotive News reported that Volvo Cars North America executives said they were unsure of how to equip and market the C30. The car will be on the market in America in little more than a year. Time is running out.
The three options listed above were Volvo's best guesses for how it might sell the vehicle here. Because of limited volumes for the C30 in America, it is doubtful that Volvo could bring more than one version across the pond.
Some respondents e-mailed suggestions for Volvo's product planners.
Rodion Tseitlin, broker relations specialist with lender FMF Capital in Southfield, Mich., said he believes the C30 could do better than the BMW 1 series. BMW execs have said the small car is coming to America but have not said when.
"Give me a cool-looking C30 in red with enough power, fun handling characteristics, practical and cool interior, and they'll sell," Tseitlin said in an e-mail. "I especially see it being the case in richer, trendier, busier areas."
A supplier executive, who wished to remain anonymous, disagreed. He said Volvo should sell a base-model C30 at a low price and offer Scion-like customization options.
"They could foster a passion and love for the small car the same way Volvo enthusiasts feel about their bigger cars, even though it would appeal to a different audience," the executive said. "If Ford Motor executives think that anybody in America is going to pay $30,000 for a small car, they need to put down the (crack) pipe."
A luxury-vehicle salesman, whose lineup includes Volvo, said Volvo might want to pass on the C30 altogether.
The salesman, who didn't want his dealership identified, said all of the prices mentioned are uncompetitive.
"Unless Volvo can bring the car to market priced to compete point-to-point with the Mini, they shouldn't bother," the salesman wrote. "The closer Volvo can get to $20,000, with popular options, the better the car will sell."
You may e-mail Mark Rechtin at [email protected]