Volvo Car Corp. will be adding 10 new models in China within the next six years to its current offering of just six models as part of a strategy to compete with Audi and BMW in this market. China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group is the owner of Volvo, which said in an e-mail that included in its future offering are "bigger and more luxury high end" vehicles, as well as medium- to small-sized cars like the V40 hatchback.
Geely is hoping that sales will double to 800,000 cars worldwide in 10 years. Currently No. 5 when it comes to luxury-car sales in China, Volvo intends to invest up to $11 billion globally by 2016 for its expansion plans, according to Volvo Chief Executive Officer Stefan Jacoby in a statement last year.
When interviewed recently in Beijing, Zhejiang Geely Chairman Li Shufu said that huge investments will be made for the development and facility construction in China.
He also expressed confidence that Volvo will be able to achieve its growth target in China as well as globally. Volvo is planning to sell 200,000 cars in China by 2015, compared with 47,150 units in 2011.
In addition, Volvo is seeking the approval of the government to build plants in the city of Chengdu, southwestern China, and a second factory in northeastern city of Daqing. Volvo has been working to begin local production in China in 2013. Li said that this is out of the company’s control since the government will still have to approve it.
The new V40 from Volvo is able to set new standards in its segment when it comes to safety, fuel efficiency, and handling. Indeed, the engineers at Volvo made sure to put extra attention when it came to handling, ride comfort, agility, and steering feel. For them, the V40 should be the benchmark in its class when it came to dynamic fitness.
Further, the engineers also made sure to include the fact that the brand has long been known to be the leader in safety. Thus, when Volvo came out with the S60, it came with the first-ever Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake. The new V40 still has this safety feature but now adds in the Pedestrian Airbag Technology, and together, they deliver unmatched protection not only for those inside the vehicle but even for pedestrians.
What this newest safety feature does is that when the vehicle determines that a pedestrian has been hit, the airbag placed below the bonnet’s rear edge is inflated. By raising the bonnet, the pedestrian is allowed that additional cushion while the pedestrian’s head is protected from the hard points located on the lower portion of the A-pillars and the base of its windscreen.
This is indeed an excellent addition given the statistics in Europe of 14% of traffic fatalities being pedestrians. In China meanwhile, that figure is at 25%. The new V40 is not just about practical features as this five-door hatchback comes with an amazing design. It utilizes styling cues derived from both the classic P1800ES and the C30 coupé. This gives the V40 an appearance that is sleeker and sportier compared to those in the same class.