Leave it to Volvo's Swedish-Chinese overlords to pull an enigma into the Frankfurt Motor Show — a big luxury sedan called the Concept You that tells more about its carpets than its engine. Is Volvo turning into an upscale Ikea?
Ever since Chinese automaker Geely bought Volvo there's been rumblings about where the company would go; whether it would push toward more expensive buyers or hew to those who enjoy assembling their own bookshelves and kitchen cabinets. The Concept You, the biggest car ever assembled by Volvo, says the luxury argument is winning; from the rear, it looks every bit a competitor, and perhaps a distant relative, to Jaguar.
The real point appears to be inside, where Volvo has eliminated all buttons in favor of only touch screen controls, suggesting at least someone in the auto industry understands Steve Jobs. There's lots of talk in the press release about the carpets, fabrics, woods and Scandinavian frippery. We'll be more interested if Volvo actually builds something like this — or at least tells us what's going on under the hood.