Volvo will co-develop a new compact car family with parent Zhejiang Geely Holding Group that will use a common platform and that will be produced at its plant in Belgium, according to CEO Hakan Samuelsson. These cars will also most probably be assembled in China; however, the company hasn’t reached a decision yet on which of its factories in the country will do the work.
Samuelsson said that Volvo’s plant in Ghent, Belgium, will be tapped. From the assembly map of Automotive News Europe, we learned that the Ghent plant currently rolls out the Volvo S60, V40 and XC60 models.
A "good guess" is how Samuelsson describes the idea that the first Volvo vehicle to feature a new platform, referred to as the compact modular architecture (CMA), would be a Volvo V40 hatchback new generation since it’s the lone compact that Volvo currently markets globally.
He also said that Volvo has always had low sales of smaller cars and this led to small profits. This meant that Volvo needed to have a partner so that the costs of developing and building a competitive vehicle can be shared. The CEO also said that there are three options in China.
The first is a new automobile assembly plant being constructed in Luqiao, a district of the eastern China city of Taizhou. The other two are currently operating factories located in the southwestern city of Chengdu and the northeast city of Daqing.
Two Geely insiders said that it’s likely for Volvo and Geely to build cars underpinned by the CMA jointly at the Luqiao plant. Geely is slated to begin production of an SUV with CMA underpinnings at the Luqiao facility toward the end of 2016.
In addition, Volvo wants to use a common platform and powertrain technologies with Geely to develop a small SUV. Samuelsson said that with the growth of SUVs worldwide, it’s worth considering. Volvo was acquired from Ford Motor by Zhejiang Geely in 2010.