For the first time in its near 100-year history, Volvo is turning its attention to young consumers – in this case, Gen Z. Their efforts seem to be working.

Volvo ranked 5th in our latest Ad Age-Harris Poll Gen Z brand tracker. This quarterly index uses QuestBrand data to rank the top 20 brands by brand equity growth among Gen Z adults.

From Q3 to Q4 2022, Volvo experienced a +11.6 lift in brand equity among Gen Z adults. In contrast, the car manufacturer saw only a +2.4 lift in brand equity among the general population of US adults.

Brand equity is an average of four components: brand familiarity, perceived quality, purchase consideration, and perceived momentum. Volvo experienced the greatest lift in consideration (+4.1) among Gen Z, signaling that this young demographic was more likely to consider purchasing a Volvo in Q4 than they had been in Q3 2022.

Volvo Brand Equity Among Gen Z and Overall US Adults Throughout 2022 – 12 Week Moving Average

Source: QuestBrand. Base: Gen Z familiar with the Volvo brand (Gray), 1/1/22-12/31/22, n=635. Base: US Adults, ages 18+ familiar with the Volvo brand (Blue), 1/1/22-12/31/22, n=5,909. 

Want to learn more about the auto industry? Check out our Automotive: An Industry Snapshot report for more industry insights and for a ranking of the top brands by brand equity.    

Volvo designs an EV for the next generation

Gen Z – 18-, 19-year-olds – is our next market…If you bring a small SUV, competitively priced, and you have that subscription-based ownership – you’re only signing up for three months at a reasonably lower cost…And then you have a direct relationship with those customers at a really early age. And if we do our job properly, we’ll keep those customers and we’ll trade them up, because they get married and have a dog and have kids and want a second car…” – Jim Rowan, Volvo CEO.

Curious about Gen Z? Learn more about this generation’s passions, priorities, and what differentiates them from Millennials.     

Volvo admits that up until recently, its lineup did not target or appeal to Gen Z consumers. However, this changed with its newest EV that was teased (but not released) last November – an electric crossover that will be the smallest of Volvo’s EV offerings. While the new model’s name is still under wraps, some predict that it will be called the EX30. This small EV is also designed with sustainable materials, a decision that appeals to Gen Z’s environmental focus.

In addition to a shiny new EV, Volvo is hoping to attract this younger demographic with an online buying experience and short-term subscription-based ownership model. The subscription model gives consumers more flexibility and allows younger drivers to get a Volvo without the large financial commitment of purchasing a car. Furthermore, Volvo realizes that Gen Z is comfortable making online purchases. While demo cars will be available to test drive at dealerships, consumers will only be able to buy the car online.  

The new EX30 is expected to be an entry-level car that will hook Gen Z consumers onto the Volvo brand. As they gain buying power and grow a family, they can upgrade their car with their lifestyle. The EX30 is expected to release within the next year. Volvo has pledged to reveal a new EV every year, and they plan to only produce electric vehicles by 2030.

We can’t wait for the model’s official release, and to see if more Gen Zers end up behind the wheel of a Volvo.


Catherine Ake

Senior Marketing and Content Strategist

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