Being one of the premium and popular brands over in Europe, Volvo is still not recognized enough here in the States. Experiencing a significant drop in sales on the American market, the brand needed to find ways to survive. The Chinese carmaker Geely saw this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and proceeded with the offer. In early August 2010 the deal was finalized. In March 2013, Volvo hired Bentley’s chief interior designer Robin Page, and in 2014 almost all of its model line-up was completely updated, featuring stunning Scandinavian design with incredible attention to detail. With a loud announcement of expanding their production into the United States and building a plant in South Carolina, there’s no doubt – Volvo is here to stay. From the invention of a three-point seatbelt in 1959 and giving out the patent to all other auto makers, saving billions of lives, to the 2020 vision of producing cars where no one can be killed or seriously injured in, Volvo has always been pioneers in technology and safety. With New Year’s just around the corner, Chicago News spoke to Richard Kirkpatrick, general manager of The Autobarn Volvo Cars of Oak Park, about the brand philosophy, as well as plans for the near future.
“There was a period within the last couple of years when Volvo fell off the shopping list of somebody who’s in the market for a luxury car. However, with this new generation we’re seeing people coming back. If you’re in the market for a German or Japanese luxury car you absolutely owe it to yourself to test drive a Swede and see how you like it – they’re really impressive! If you look at the interiors of those vehicles, the attention to detail and the quality of the materials used, there is nothing like it in the industry.”
According to Kirkpatrick, plans for the near future are further advancing all the safety systems, as well as full electrification moving forward. In summer 2017 Volvo announced its move to full electrification within the next couple of years in order to have every single model in the line-up either hybrid or fully-electrical already by 2019.
With the number of Volvo dealerships in the Chicagoland area, one of the main features that sets The Autobarn Volvo Cars of Oak Park apart from its competition is very high customer satisfaction and the willingness to go above and beyond in order to make a customer car-buying experience a truly pleasant one.
“I’m an advocate of the extended test drive and we would like to encourage anybody who is not as familiar with Volvo to come on in and test drive a car. It doesn’t have to be just a quick test drive around the block. We’d be happy to give a car to a customer for a couple of hours or even overnight if that’s what it takes for them to really feel they’re comfortable and happy with it.”
One of the Volvo models Richard Kirkpatrick personally admires is the Polestar. Produced by Volvo’s performance division and being a winner of multiple worldwide racing championships, it clearly shows brand’s commitment to performance.
Among the holiday offers Volvo is currently providing, Kirkpatrick highlighted the V90 with up to $5,500 in allowances for owners of select vehicles, as well as XC90 with up to $4,000 in allowances.
“There are special offers for both combination of lease and purchase, so we’ve got great deals through the end of the year!”
Richard Kirkpatrick and all the team of The Autobarn Volvo Cars of Oak Park wishes all Chicagoland residents and Chicago News readers a happy and healthy holiday season, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.