Volvo announced pricing for the new C30 on March 8. The price for the base model is $24,970 for the base model and $28,270 loaded, not including a $695 destination charge. But on March 14, prices were $23,154 and $26,214. On March 22 the base price was $21,565 and the loaded price $24,415.

In all cases, the base model included a 218-hp turbo-five engine, six-speed manual transmission and 17-inch wheels.

Now, Volvo is trying an innovative form of market research. Shoppers are being invited to outfit a C30 with options and packages on a Volvo web page.

But pricing the C30, which is scheduled to go on sale in North America in eight months, is tricky for Volvo. For one thing, the sporty three-door is not your garden-variety Volvo. For another, the weakness of the dollar against the euro and Swedish krona makes it hard to turn a profit on low-priced models.

Finally, Volvo isn’t sure how many C30s it wants to sell in America - whether it will be a low-volume niche car or something more.

The idea of using a Web site to help sort out such questions came from Anne Belec, CEO of Volvo Cars of North America Inc., according to a company source. The site went live Jan. 27, and the base and options pricing on the site have been fluctuating ever since.

Source: Automotive News

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