Many of us recognised Volvo for its tagline “Volvo for Life”. Volvo renowned worldwide as a safe, reliable, old stodgy, grandpa and soccer mums’ car has been actively trying to appeal to younger consumers. If you noticed, for the past decades, since the brand was bought by Ford, Volvo’s design has changed drastically from the stodgy boxy type to a more stylistic upmarket design. If you see the Xc30 design you understand what I mean. Many of us forgot that Volvo Cars is no longer a Swedish company, despite the factory remained in Gothenborg, Sweden. Volvo was bought by Ford Motor Company more than a decade ago, but even the sturdy Ford also failed to change the fortunes of Volvo.
A few days ago, in what was described as “a glimpse of new world order”, Zhejiang Geely Holdings of China bought the iconic Volvo for USD1.8billion. A new chapter in industrial history was written. It was the first large scale foray of a Chinese motor company into high end European car company. Certainly it won’t be the last. A long line of Chinese companies are now eyeing western industrial giants. They have the funds that those companies badly needed. One report stated that, the deal marked a rewriting of the world economic map with China forging ahead to lead the world economy. For those who scorned at the made in China product would surely soon accept the fact that China can truly build quality products at a lower price especially that now they can acquire tried and tested technologies from the West. Remember how we scoffed at Japanese made “Tin Milo” cars in the 60s. Look at where they are now. The same goes for the Korean cars. Hyundai now is fast becoming the second most popular car in the USA, behind Toyota.
So wipe that cynical smile from your face when you see those Cherrys or Changans on the road now. For all you know, in a few years time they would be better than our much beleagured Proton. I have little sympathies for Proton, they have been milking us all these years, dishing out low quality products at premium prices, until recently when Government slowly removed their protective shield. Much like our supermarket now inundated with made in China electrical products, our roads would also soon be crowded with Chinese made vehicles.