Posted Oct 12th 2012 3:45PM
According to an Autoblog reader with access to Volvo's internal dealer site, the Swedish automaker has officially notified its dealers that North American production of the C30 will cease in December. It's not exactly a surprise – the C30 disappeared from Volvo's Swedish website months ago and C30 forum users have been discussing the end of the hatch in various markets all summer. This only makes it official that Volvo is pulling the plug on a car that only sold about 4,500 units per year for the six years it was here.
The bulletin notes that while the "C30 successfully achieved its goal to attract new customers to the Volvo brand, pulling a high percentage of customers from brands like Mini, Mazda and Volkswagen," its end is necessitated by the need to develop "high volume products to better sustain our brand health and network viability moving forward," presumably in the North American market. Autoblog reached out to Volvo for comment, and they confirmed the news, remarking "...we have made the decision to discontinue C30 production to better position Volvo for the future and the next stages of our model portfolio." (Their full statement is available by scrolling below).
We've been hearing about this transition for years, but frankly, we still don't know what those products might be. The effacing of the C30 leaves the S60, S80, XC60, XC70 and XC90 in the North American lineup – the C70 convertible is expected to bow out early next year. From everything we've heard out of Volvo, we're not getting the excellent new V40 or V40 Cross Country, but there have also been rumors of a C90 and an S100 luxury flagship that aren't anything like high volume. We've also heard that company CEO Stefan Jacoby is contemplating a Mini rival, but isn't that what the C30 was supposed to have been?
Perhaps the C30's biggest problem is what it costs to get in one. According to the company's consumer website, there are only two models offered, the base T5 starting at $29,500 and the R-Design at $37,000. The C30s were well equipped, but the Mini Cooper starts at $23,950. For those volume buyers fixated on the bottom line, that stat led to some open minds slamming shut on the C30. The little hatch also could have used a lot more advertising. While we wait for something to take a spot under the S60, the dealer bulletin suggests that the C30 Polestar Limited Edition will figure into dealers' final allocations.
Click here for more, and here's hoping that an eventual C30 successor will make a better go of it.
Related Gallery2011 Volvo C30 Black Design
Related Gallery2013 Volvo C30 Polestar Limited Edition
Volvo PR statement to Autoblog about the C30's future:
"Launched as a model year 2008, the Volvo C30 is a dynamic, fun-to-drive car that helped us connect with enthusiasts and also fulfilled its purpose in supporting Volvo as a luxury brand with performance credentials. Looking ahead, however, we have made the decision to discontinue C30 production to better position Volvo for the future and the next stages of our model portfolio. We encourage C30 fans to consider the new Limited Edition model currently available, of which only 250 specially numbered cars will be built. With a design that pays homage to the vintage 1800ES, we expect both collectors and enthusiasts to embrace it and carry on the C30 legacy."