Volvo plots return to the US market next year

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DETROIT (AP) — Volvo has realized that safe is better than sexy.

After several years adrift, the Swedish automaker is in the midst of an $11 billion turnaround plan. Among its changes: Hiring a new ad agency to reemphasize its reputation for safety.

During a trip to visit U.S. dealers this week, Volvo executives said the brand strayed from its safety message as it tried to appeal to younger U.S. buyers.

But it didn't work. Volvo's U.S. sales have tumbled by more than half over the last decade, as the carmaker changed owners and its vehicles got too old. Chinese automaker Geely bought Volvo from Ford in 2010.

Volvo's first vehicle under Geely, a new XC90 SUV, will come out next year. A new version of the S40 small car will follow.

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