Shunning Style

Volvo thrives on sensible cars

Since they were first exported to the U.S. 26 years ago, the tanklike sedans and boxy station wagons have endeared themselves to L.L. Bean-wearing university professors and affluent suburbanites. Today the safe and sensible Volvo has never been more popular. In a year when other auto manufacturers are struggling, Volvo's American sales are up 12.8%, and the car has passed Volkswagen as the bestselling European import. Last week the Volvo's proud Swedish parent announced that its earnings nearly doubled during the first nine months of this year, to...

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