How has Volvo made the EX30 so cheap?

Volvo EX30 front quarter static

Pricing places the EX30 in competition with the Vauxhall Corsa Electric, Jeep Avenger and Kia Niro EV

Priced from £33,795, Volvo’s new crossover is a convincing proposition against more expensive rivals

When new cars are revealed, it’s quite common to look at the price and go ‘how much?’. That happened with the Volvo EX30 – but, unusually, it was because the price is (whisper it) surprisingly low.

Now let’s be clear: this is all relative. At £33,795, we’re not in affordable car territory here. Volvo hasn’t suddenly turned into Dacia. But still, that’s a hugely competitive price for a compact but well-proportioned bespoke electric car with Volvo’s popular, premium design and a decent level of standard kit. 

It’s close to what you’d pay for a similar combustion-engined premium small SUV. And consider this: you could pay more for a Vauxhall Corsa Electric, Jeep Avenger or a Kia Niro EV. You actually question if Volvo could have charged more without really hurting demand.

There are some caveats, not least that the headline-grabbing price is for the entry-level model that features a cheaper LFP battery and offers a relatively meagre 214-mile range – substantially less than many of those cars mentioned above. You’ll pay a hefty £5000 more for the bigger battery.

That price is in part down to some of Volvo’s neat design touches, which are driven not only by reducing cost but also by increasing sustainability and maximising interior space. So the decision to use a single soundbar across the dashboard in place of six door-mounted speaker reduces the number of parts and amount of wiring needed, and creates space in the doors.

Moving the window switches from the door panels to the centre console also reduces the wiring needed. And removing the driver info display and merging it with the central touchscreen – a Tesla-esque decision that might raise some eyebrows – also reduces parts and cost. Still, when you sit inside, it doesn’t feel like those decisions were made purely to keep the price down. 

And here’s another reason that headline £33,795 price is lower than some rivals: whether you walk into a dealership or order online, that – or more likely whatever the final PCP figure is – is what you’ll pay.

Volvo’s new integrated ‘agency’ sales model, which will shortly come into force in the UK, means the price is set, whether you buy online or at a dealership (or even through a combination of both). There’s no haggling to be done, no deals to be had. So unlike some new model prices, there’s no margin in the initial figure to try and argue it down.

Volvo admits that some buyers love the thrill of negotiating a deal – but it says its research shows around three-quarters don’t, that instead of feeling like they’re bagging a bargain, haggling simply creates a fear they’ve paid more than they should have. 

It’s a concept that’s rising in popularity among car firms eager to take more control of the ‘ownership journey’ and interactions with customers. And it’s going to be a mindset change for many. For the concept to really take off among a public tuned to haggle for car deals, buyers will have to be reassured they’re getting value for money. Still, with the EX30, that shouldn’t be too hard to do.

Source: Autocar

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