Volvo unveils Concepts 40.1 and 40.2

Article by Andrew Christian, on May 23, 2016

Volvo, one of the world’s foremost automotive manufacturers, introduced two new small concept cars today, signalling the Swedish company’s venturesome leap into the international small-car market.

The introduction of the 40 series concept models shows Volvo’s clear intention to enter the vast and profitable international premium small car market. The concept cars represent Volvo’s strategic marketing of a range of small cars featuring striking external and internal design, leading-edge technological and connectivity features, and autonomous driving systems.

These concept cars are the prototypes for future production cars under Volvo’s newly created Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) where their engineers and designers are free to conceptualise new small car designs and technologies.

Thomas Ingenlath, Volvo Car Group Senior Vice President of Design, said that the car lines in their vehicle stable all have unique traits “like the members of a real family.” The CMA has been a way for Volvo to create concept cars with a fresher and more individual vibe going forward. With more dynamic, innovative and cosmopolitan qualities, the new small car will still seem exclusive next to its competitors.

The Swedish car producer’s entry into the small car market is a major part of their new international operations strategy and commercial overhaul. Volvo is aiming for a renaissance with a determined four-year plan to go head-to-head with its international premium manufacturer rivals.

Volvo’s upcoming small car lines for the international market will also feature models with green technology including pure-electric and Twin Engine hybrid powertrain vehicles. This is the company’s way of reinforcing their plan to eventually produce only vehicles with green technology. Volvo projects to internationally sell close to a million electrified vehicles by 2025.

Dr Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President for Research & Development says that Volvo’s modular methodology in vehicle and powertrain design, development and construction has enabled them to step ahead of their contemporary premium car manufacturers. He said that the new battery electric powertrain variant unwraps “yet another exciting chapter in the unfolding Volvo story.”

In addition to their more adventurous styles and green tech options, the new vehicles will feature a complete set of the latest connectivity services and the most high tech safety features. The interior will also have an all-new Swedish style.

Volvo Cars President and Chief Executive Håkan Samuelsson said that the new 40 series cars carry the potential to extend its reach in the market of this rising segment. Their electric powertrain development is a primary part of their CMA program. It consists of both a pure-electric variant and a compact Twin Engine plug-in hybrid. Samuelsson adds that the 40 series cars are scheduled to start assembly in 2017.

Volvo’s revelation of their global small-car strategy immediately followed their report for strong sales and profits for the first part of the year.

The company shares that its first quarter returns for 2016 was at SEK41.7bn, a 24 percent year-over-year increase, which resulted in a SEK3.1bn operating profit or a 7.5 percent operating profit margin. Worldwide sales for the first three months of 2016 rose 11.9 percent to 120,591 units. Volvo’s objective for the medium-term is to increase annual sales from 503,000 in 2015 to 800,000.

Press Release

Volvo provides the first look at its new range of smaller cars

Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, today unveiled two new concept cars that move the Swedish brand in an audacious new direction and mark the official launch of its global small car strategy.

Today’s 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 with a range of vehicles that combine bold exterior and interior design with industry-leading connectivity, electrification and autonomous drive technologies.

The new concept cars will be the first built around Volvo’s new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), which has been specially created for smaller cars and which has liberated the company’s designers and engineers to explore bold and daring new directions.

“Each member of our product family has its own distinct character, just like the members of a real family. CMA has helped us to capture something special, something youthful in our new concept cars. 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,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President, Design, at Volvo Car Group.

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.

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.

“By taking a modular approach to both vehicle architecture and powertrain development we have succeeded in leap-frogging many of the players in the premium segment,” said Dr Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research & Development. “Our new battery electric powertrain variant opens yet another exciting chapter in the unfolding Volvo story.”

On top of their daring exterior design and electrified powertrain options, the new cars will also offer a full range of innovative connectivity services, plus the world’s most advanced standard package of safety features and ground breaking Scandinavian interior design.

“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. “An electric powertrain program including both a new compact Twin Engine plug-in hybrid as well as a pure electric car are central to the CMA architecture.” He added that the first new 40 series car is expected to go into production in 2017.

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 announced revenues for the first three months of the year rose 24 per cent year-on-year to SEK41.7bn, generating an operating profit of SEK3.1bn and an operating profit margin of 7.5 per cent. Global sales for the first quarter of 2016 increased 11.9 per cent to 120, 591 cars. Volvo has a medium term ambition to sell 800,000 cars a year, up from 503,000 in 2015.

Topics: volvo, concept

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