I’ve bought a few things from Dave Barton, owner of Prancing Moose, a site with a lot of various and sundry bits for old Volvos. He definitely has a love for these cars. As such offers a lot of smaller items that larger retailers maybe wouldn’t bother with. For the last 13 years and until recently this included a lot of replacement stickers and decals for people like myself that are attempting to restore their cars. However, Volvo very suddenly decided that he was some sort of threat to their IP. They ordered him to stop making anything that had their logo or the word “Volvo” on it. Here is an article on this turn of events, and here is Dave’s own take.
It’s honestly baffling. Dave was providing a service they were uninterested in providing themselves. I don’t imagine he was making a huge amount of money doing it, so why on earth would they do this? Dave suggests Volvo is trying to shed their past. They’ve already done this in the sense. It’s pretty well recognized that Volvo’s cars underwent a “shift” of sorts in styling and general direction of their cars around 1999 when the car division was sold to Ford. The brand image (if not always the cars themselves) went upscale, closer to luxury cars, and left the days of “Boxy But Good” behind. Now by shutting down guys like Barton it would seem like they really, really don’t want to be associated with the old days. This is a travesty, and I very much hope they see the error of their ways in the future. Sadly, it doesn’t seem likely.