Volvo to focus on electrifying current line-up before launching next new car

Volvo has set itself an ambitious sales target of reaching 800,000 units per year by 2020

By Rachel Burgess, Autocar UK calendar 13 Apr 2018 Views icon3138 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

The Volvo XC40 has quickly become one of the brand's best-sellers

Volvo will not launch any all-new models between now and 2020, instead of capitalising on its existing line-up to reach its goal of 800,000 annual car sales by that date.

Other models such as a convertible or SUV coupé - the latter of which was rumoured following a recent trademark application for XC50 from Volvo - could happen in future but are not currently in the product plan. 

Volvo’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) boss Lex Kerssemakers said: “It would be nice to have a convertible or a coupe. It’s the cream on the cake but you don’t need it to survive,” adding that any new models would be beyond 2020.

Its focus, for now, said Kerssemakers, was electrifying its existing line-up to achieve its stated intention of achieving a 25% mix of electric models by 2025.

Volvo boss: Opel/Vauxhall can learn from Volvo's success

“We cover 98% of the market with our current portfolio. Our electrification goals show we are taking it very seriously and we are rapidly expanding our electrified powertrains.”

The XC40 will receive a hybrid powertrain in autumn this year, and its also expected to be the first Volvo to go fully electric. Volvo-owned performance brand Polestar is expected to launch its pure electric vehicle first, which will closely resemble the Concept 40.2 shown last year. 

The next replacement model in Volvo’s line-up is the V40 hatchback, which should arrive next year. Kerssemakers confirmed the next V40, based on the brand’s Compact Modular Architecture – the same as the XC40 – would be electrified and be a “strong evolution” stylistically on the current model. However, he hinted it wouldn’t be dramatically different. “The old XC90 to the new XC90 was a big difference because it was much larger, while the XC40 we could be a lot more extreme because it was the new kid on the block. The V40 is well established.”

Volvo must capitalise on its electric advantage now

Volvo is establishing itself more and more as a growing threat to bigger premium brands. Last year, it sold 571,577 units globally a growth of 7% over 2016. In Europe, its XC60 SUV sold 99,023 units in 2017, more than 100% more than the BMW X3 which sold 41,355 units.

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