The discontinuation of the only Volvo convertible was because of poor sales. Due to Volvo’s small-scale production, the overall sales of the convertible C70 were simply not high enough, so they stopped making the only Volvo convertible.
Another reason was the Swedish plant that manufactured the C70s closed down in 2013. Volvo announced that they would soon launch a successor of the convertible, but it still hasn’t happened.
Volvo’s first and last convertible made its debut in 1998. It was introduced in two versions; one was a coupe and the other was convertible. Car enthusiasts loved this car because of its performance and sporty looks. It was successful enough to lead to a second-generation model.
The C70 was first unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in 1996. It was truly an ambitious and enthusiastic project by Volvo. Volvo teamed up with Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) to make the engineering required for it possible. The car was designed in the UK by the TWR, but the basic structure and features were designed by Volvo.
There were two generations of the Volvo C70. The first generation of the C70 was introduced in 1996, but it first reached the US market in 1998. The car had three powertrains of 2.0L, 2.4L low-pressured turbo, and a 2.5L high-pressured turbocharged model.
The C70 was the first attempt by Volvo to design something sporty instead of their typical boxy cars. The aim of the design was to offer all-open blue-sky rides to the families with the perfect safety features of Volvo. The car had all the top-of-the-line safety features of Volvo.
Second generation (2006-2013)
The second generation was a true sports car, with its sporty look and perfectly designed aerodynamics. The car was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2005, and it made its way to the US in 2006. It had two gasoline-based variants of 2.4L and 2.5L turbocharged engines with diesel engines.
This generation also had the best safety features, which made it one of the safest cars in its category. The car had excellent roll-over protection. The retractable hardtop was controlled by power buttons, and it was only operational when the car was stationary.
The C70’s discontinuation
The car’s production was ceased in 2013. The C70 had an overall average record in terms of sales. The car’s sales peaked in 1999 when it sold 6,503 units. Overall, it had an annual average of around only 4000 units a year. There was simply not enough demand for Volvo to continue producing the C70.
Convertibles aren’t profitable
Volvo manages a small line of products all over the world compared to the other American and European car brands. The limited number of production lines doesn’t allow Volvo to sell a very large number of cars. Along with their small lineup, their profits are lower than other big brands.
Making convertibles is pretty expensive. Their engineering is tough and requires extra attention and resources. Furthermore, the popularity of convertibles nowadays is not very high among consumers. Convertibles are mostly liked by car enthusiasts and not by families, resulting in low sales numbers.
Looking at the C70, it is also clear that the sales of the car were not impressive enough to encourage Volvo to make any more convertibles in the near future. The extra engineering and resources do not look very profitable for Volvo.
Does Volvo have a future convertible?
Volvo announced the electrification of their cars recently, meaning they are going to focus on electric cars for now. The making of electric cars itself needs plenty of attention, so Volvo won’t have time to give much attention or focus towards making any convertibles, which do need some extra effort to make.
Making convertibles demands extra attention due to the balancing of the car. This results in more engineering teams being diverted to work on convertibles. Therefore, Volvo is more focusing on electrifying their cars. Although, it was replaced by Polestar 1 it also had no convertible option.
Volvo’s goal is to sell 50% of its total number of cars as electric vehicles by 2030. This would eventually lead them to only sell electric cars by 2040. Maybe, in between this time, they would again consider making another convertible but for now, it’s highly unlikely.
What are convertible cars?
Cars with open roofs are known as convertibles or cabriolets. People like to buy convertibles to experience fast-moving air and blue skies while driving their car. Convertibles have roofs that are generally folded back. Nowadays, most convertibles have a hard top roof that is retractable by an electronic button.
Most of the cars produced in the early ages of car production were convertibles. The cars didn’t even have foldable roofs at the beginning. When the car companies started mass production of steel bodies, convertibles started vanishing. The roofed cars were cheaper and the convertibles were expensive to make.
What are the problems with convertible cars?
Convertibles look very stylish and sporty, but they also have many problems, including:
- They have an issue with their structural rigidity, so they require much more engineering to be stable.
- The roof of convertibles is prone to leakages. Some of the newer convertibles still experience this issue.
- These cars cannot be used in extreme sunlight, which can result in sunburns.
- The music system is just useless in convertibles.
- The speed is limited in convertibles because they experience rollover issues more than regular cars.
Why are convertibles so expensive?
Convertibles cost so much because they require extra engineering due to their rollover issues and structural rigidity. The chassis is usually made more rigid because there is no roof. They require more time to design and there is less demand for convertibles among car buyers. People prefer full-roof cars over convertibles because of their practicality.