By Nick Aziz
Tuesday, Nov 2nd, 2010 @ 10:15 am
 
The ink was barely dry on Geely's deal to acquire Volvo when Li Shufu, co-chair of the Chinese automaker, said it would soon be time for the Swedish brand to market a 7-Series rival. But 4 months later, Volvo's top executives say now is not the time.

It's simply "too early" in the company's product renaissance for a vehicle designed to compete with BMW's 7-Series of Mercedes' S-Class, said Volvo CEO Stefan Jacoby.

It's a "step too early," Jacoby told U.K. car magazine Autocar. He went on to say only after Volvo reaches its goal of 800,000 annual sales might a 7-Series competitor make sense.

It seems Jacoby wants to avoid the trap of building a high-end luxury car that no one wants. Volkswagen did it with the Phaeton, which was a superb car, but severely lacking in prestige.

Volvo is still in the process of recreating its image, following the launch of the stylish new S60 sedan. Jacoby said it's essential for the company to differentiate itself from the German luxury brands. "We need to stop copying the Germans," Jacoby told the magazine. "We should express what Scandinavia stands for."

As part of its strategy to stand out from the crowd, Volvo is rumored to be considering scrapping its V8 and even its V6 offerings, in favor of four- and five-cylinder motors.