The two new concept cars unveiled by Volvo Cars will take the Swedish make in a bold new direction and mark the official launch of its global small car strategy. The production plant in Ghent will play an important role in this strategy.
The newly-revealed 40 series concepts demonstrate for the first time how Volvo plans to expand into the large and lucrative global market for premium small cars. The range of vehicles developed by the Swedish car manufacturer combine bold exterior and interior design with industry-leading connectivity, electrification and self-drive technologies.
Here you can watch the first video of the two concept cars 40.1 and 40.2
The new concept cars will be the first built around Volvo’s new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA).
“CMA has helped us to capture something special, something youthful in our new concept cars,” says Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President, Design at Volvo Car Group. “They have an energy, a disruptive and engaging urban character that makes them stand out amongst the crowd. This is the flavour of small Volvos to come.”
XC40 production in Ghent
The first CMA car in Ghent is expected to be a compact-sized crossover called the XC40. Production of this vehicle will kick off in 2018. The 5,300 employees in Ghent already knew for some time that they would be able to build the new 40 series.
Pure battery electric and plug-in hybrid Volvo
Volvo’s new global small car range will include a pure battery electric vehicle as well as Twin Engine plug-in hybrid powertrain variants, in line with the company’s commitment to the electrification of its entire portfolio. Volvo plans to have sold a total of up to 1 million electrified cars by 2025 globally.
“The new 40 series cars have the potential to improve our market penetration in an important growing segment,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive, adding: “An electric powertrain programme including both a new compact Twin Engine plug-in hybrid as well as a pure electric car are central to the CMA architecture.”
Production starts in 2017
Volvo’s small car strategy is an essential element in its ongoing global operational and financial transformation. The Swedish company is currently implementing an ambitious revitalisation plan that will reposition the brand to compete with its global premium competitors within the next four years.
The first new 40 series car is expected to go into production in 2017.
Global car sales up by 11.9%
The announcement of Volvo’s new global small car strategy comes on the back of a strong start to the year in terms of sales and profitability.
The company’s revenues for the first three months of the year rose by 24 per cent year-on-year to SEK 41.7 billion (EUR 4.50 billion), generating an operating profit of SEK 3.1 billion (EUR 334 million) and an operating profit margin of 7.5 per cent. Global sales for the first quarter of 2016 increased by 11.9 per cent to 120,591 cars.