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更新时间:2016/1/14 18:25:51 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Volvo Makes a Comeback, With a Detour Through China

Record sales in the American auto industry have left the biggest carmakers flush with cash, which they are pouring into new models on display this week at the annual North American International Auto Show here.

美国汽车行业创下销售记录,为那些规模最大的汽车生产商带来大笔收入。它们将资金投入研发新车型,并在本周举行的一年一度的北美国际车展(North American International Auto Show)上进行展示。

But even the smallest auto companies are flourishing in the booming American market, none more so than the tiny Chinese-owned, Swedish-run luxury brand Volvo.


While General Motors, Ford Motor and others held lavish news conferences, Volvo showed off a new sedan, the S90, and won recognition for its flagship sport utility vehicle, the XC90, as the best truck introduced in 2015.

通用汽车(General Motors)、福特汽车(Ford Motor Company)及其他一些品牌举行了奢华的新闻发布会,而沃尔沃则展示了新款轿车S90,其旗舰款运动型多功能车XC90也获得了2015年度最佳新款卡车大奖。

It illustrated how even the littlest car companies — Volvo has just 0.3 percent of the American market — can succeed when demand soars.


Bought from Ford in 2010 as part of that automaker’s retrenchment during the financial crisis, Volvo has been expanding under its new owners, Geely Auto of China, whose ambitions include Volvo’s first factory in North America.


While overall industry sales increased about 6 percent last year in the United States compared with the previous year, Volvo’s sales rose 24 percent to 70,000 vehicles, according to the research firm Autodata.


“We have always placed great significance on our presence in the U.S.,” Hakan Samuelsson, the company’s chief executive and president, said. “That is why we decided to present our S90 to the public for the very first time at the Detroit show and why we have begun to build a Volvo factory here.”

“我们一直非常重视在美国市场的发展,” 沃尔沃首席执行官兼总裁哈坎·萨缪尔森(Hakan Samuelsson)说。“因此我们决定在底特律车展上首次公开展示S90,并且开始在这里建造沃尔沃工厂。”

Other smaller brands that benefited from the surge in consumer demand included the Japanese automaker Subaru, which reported a 13 percent increase in sales, and Land Rover, the British maker of sport utility vehicles owned by Tata Motors of India, which posted a 37 percent increase.

从消费需求激增中获益的其他小品牌包括日本汽车生产商斯巴鲁(Subaru)和英国SUV生产商路虎(Land Rover)。前者通报销量增加了13%,印度塔塔汽车(Tata Motors)旗下的路虎品牌的销售增长则达37%。

“Those brands and their new owners have all gone on and have really started to flourish,” said Matt Degen, senior editor with Kelley Blue Book. “It took Volvo longer to do so, but we’re seeing it reimagine itself, and it’s really starting to connect.”

“这些品牌及其新东家都取得了进步,真正开始蓬勃发展,”汽车调研公司凯利蓝皮书(Kelley Blue Book)高级编辑马特·德根(Matt Degen)说。“沃尔沃花的时间要长一些,但我们看到它对自己重新有了构想,的确开始良好运行了。”

Under Geely, Volvo has emphasized the brand’s long reputation for safety and quality and its distinctive Swedish styling.


Geely was able to build on those attributes and prevent Volvo from joining discontinued brands like General Motors’ Saturn and Ford’s Mercury in the automotive graveyard.


The hot-selling XC90 wagon and S90 sedan, for example, have given new momentum to the automaker’s transformation and return to core values, Mr. Samuelsson said.


The S90, a four-door coupe that was unveiled at the show here, will go on sale this summer with a base sticker of around $47,000.

在北美车展上发布的S90四门轿跑车将于今年夏季开售,起步价在4.7万美元 左右(约合31万元人民币)。

In another outgrowth of the automaker’s renewed ambitions, Volvo has broken ground on its first automotive manufacturing plant in North America, a $500 million facility in Ridgeville, S.C., that will build the next generation S60 sedan and employ 2,000 workers over the next decade.


The plant will give Volvo a manufacturing presence in its three main regions of Asia, Europe and the United States.


“The turnaround is pretty remarkable,” said Jessica Caldwell, senior automotive analyst for Edmunds.com. “New designs and features are coming together to create more interest in the brand.”

“这种转变相当出色,” Edmunds.com高级汽车分析师杰茜卡·考德威尔(Jessica Caldwell)说。“新设计和功能配合起来,使得这一品牌更具吸引力。”

Volvo is also embracing its reputation for producing safe vehicles, joining what has been a rush by automakers to introduce technologies that enhance safety. With its latest technology, Volvo has articulated a goal of having no crash fatalities or serious injuries in a new Volvo by 2020.


“At one point Volvo ruled the safety world,” Ms. Caldwell said. “They walked away from that a decade or so ago. Now, they’re pushing the safety element, but are more mainstream, a little less quirky.”


The safety technology in the S90 will, among other things, detect pedestrians, cyclists and, Volvo says, large animals.


The car also offers new autonomous features like steering assist at high speeds and a feature that automatically maintains a set speed or distance to the vehicle in front. The car will be available in gasoline and hybrid versions.


Geely has left the management of Volvo to its Swedish executives and given Volvo the billions of dollars it needs to develop new vehicles and technology.


“We’re now seeing the results of those investments,” Mr. Degen said.


By the end of this decade, Volvo will have renewed its entire lineup, better positioning it to compete with global competitors. Autonomous drive technologies will be a focus. The automaker also plans to develop its first all-electric vehicle and adopt a global small-car strategy.


It is a starkly different look from 2009, when Ford did not even have a buyer for the flagging automaker. “They’ve come a long way from their lowest point,” Ms. Caldwell said, “when it was uncertain whether the company would continue to exist.”