Volvo wants to 'talk to' new, younger customers via subscription.
Volvo's upcoming small electric crossover, most likely called EX30, is designed around a subscription model, says Autocar. The revelation comes via Volvo CEO Jim Rowan, and long before the new crossover's June 15th reveal.
Volvo has always had trouble selling its cars to younger demographics but sees a subscription model as a way to "talk to new customers." Rowan also suggests it will be a crossover aimed at "city driving for first-time buyers," although it would be a monumental shift in Volvo's business, design, and production model for it to start competing with Chevrolet's Bolt EUV or upcoming small crossovers from other brands that produce affordable cars out of habit.
"We can talk to completely different demographics, for the first time probably, and that younger demographic will probably be the ones who shop more online," Rowan said earlier this year about the forthcoming crossover.
The EX30 should slip into Volvo's range below the XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge and go onsite at the tail-end of 2023. From what we've gathered, it won't have as much range as Volvo's existing electric vehicles and is designed for people in cities who have access to home chargers. We're not sure about the math on that, though, as the current 20-30 something generation is famously priced out of owning houses with garages, and apartments with charge points available are a rarity.
History has shown that chasing younger demographics tends to only end well when the car inadvertently appeals to older folk. That's likely how the EX-30 will play out as there is plenty of older folk out there that don't travel far, have a house with a garage to put a charging point inside, and can shop online. Because, really, at this point, people in their fifties and sixties have been online now since the 1990s and remember the dark days of AOL CDs.
We're also not sure subscription models are the way to entice millennials as, like everyone else, they are sick and tired of being nickel and dimed to death by subscriptions. It would likely be cheaper for those in cities who don't travel far to use services like Uber and Lyft.
Our suspicion here is that Volvo has done the math and worked out it makes the EX30 more initially attractive to people with lesser paychecks than its usual middle-aged demographic, but over time will profit more as either the car or the features will never be paid off. The flip side to that cynicism is that subscription models could end the problem of massive depreciation of cars when they are bought as is.
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